Illinois court upholds record $4.1 million award in nursing home stroke case

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An Illinois judge has upheld a jury ruling to award $4.1 million to the family of a nursing home resident who missed her anti-clotting medication, suffered a stroke — and died four years later.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Lyons also tacked on $1.5 million in attorney fees to be paid by Clare Oaks to the woman's family. Attorneys for the family said the total amount is a record under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act.

Thomas O'Carroll, one of the attorneys representing Clare Oaks, told the Chicago Tribune the nursing home will appeal the decision but could not otherwise comment.

In 2011, Dolores Trendel entered Clare Oaks for physical therapy after fracturing her left hip, according to the newspaper. She was supposed to be taking medications including the blood-thinner Coumadin, but court records showed she did not receive that drug for two weeks.

She suffered a stroke the next month, and her family sued in 2013.

Trendel died four years after the stroke at age 89, but a jury agreed the stroke contributed to her death, family attorney Steven Levin said. He added that after the stroke, Trendel could not "enjoy life in any realistic manner."

Clare Oaks and its insurance provider had requested a new trial.