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$3M for family of man who died after surgery at Elmhurst Hospital

Sun-Times file photo

The family of a man who died from a blood clot 50 days after undergoing surgery at a west suburban hospital was awarded a $3 million verdict late Monday.

Edward A. Smolinski, 52, was a patient at Elmhurst Hospital in the summer of 2011 after slipping from the cab of his work truck and rupturing a tendon in his left leg, according to a statement from Clifford Law Offices, which represented Smolinski’s wife and two children.

After the leg surgery, Smolinski suffered shortness of breath, chest pain, tachycardia and leg swelling, according to the statement. Between July 20 and July 28, 2011, doctors and physical therapists failed to recognize signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolus and did not perform testing to rule it out.

Smolinski, an Elmhurst resident, died of a pulmonary embolism 50 days after the surgery.

After a two-week trial before Judge Lorna Propes in Cook County Circuit Court at the Daley Center, a jury took about four-and-a-half hours Monday night to reach a $3 million verdict, according to the statement.

“The jury saw that this husband and father would still be here today had the physical therapist and doctors paid attention to the well-recognized and reported symptoms that clearly indicated that Ed was suffering from a life-threatening blood clot,” attorney Bradley Cosgrove said in a statement.

“The grief and loss suffered by this family will be felt their entire lives for something that should have been diagnosed and treated in a timely manner by medical professionals,” Cosgrove added. Susan Capra, an attorney who is also a registered nurse, also worked the case on behalf of Smolinski’s family.

Prior to the trial, the case against another defendant, Dr. Vioneet Singla, a family practitioner and osteopath, settled for $1.5 million, according to the statement.

A spokesman for Elmhurst Hospital declined to comment.