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Crime & Courts

Elmhurst man's family receives $3M verdict in Elmhurst Hospital medical malpractice case

ELMHURST – The widow and two children of an Elmhurst man who died from a pulmonary embolism 50 days after undergoing leg surgery at Elmhurst Hospital received a $3 million verdict in a medical malpractice case Nov. 20.

Edward Smolinski, 52, was a patient at the hospital in summer 2011, after slipping from the cab of his work truck, causing a ruptured tendon in his left leg. Following surgery, he suffered shortness of breath, chest pain, tachycardia and leg swelling, according to a news release from Clifford Law Offices, which represented the family.

"From July 20, 2011, through July 28, 2011, doctors and physical therapists failed to recognize signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolus and did not perform testing to rule out this life-threatening disorder," the release stated.

The two-week trial was heard in Cook County Circuit Court by Judge Lorna Propes. The jury of nine women and three men took about 4.5 hours to reach a verdict, according to the release.

“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,” Clifford Law Offices partner Bradley Cosgrove said in the release. “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.”

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

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