$14 mil awarded to woman who suffered stroke after taking medication
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporter April 19, 2014 4:22PM
Mariola and Rafal Zapalski's wedding photo | Provided photo
Updated: May 21, 2014 6:43AM
Mariola Zapalski liked taking care of her home.
She wanted to have children.
But a prescription for birth control her lawyer said should not have been given to her caused a stroke that left her partially paralyzed, with a brain injury and wheelchair bound. The 37-year-old needs 24-hour care.
A Cook County jury awarded $14 million Friday to Zapalski, of Elmwood Park, in a lawsuit against the doctor who prescribed the drug Yasmin.
Her attorney, Bradley Cosgrove, said she should not have been prescribed the medication due to several risk factors, including Zapalski’s age, high cholesterol and her smoking habit. Zapalski, who worked as a cleaning woman, suffered the stroke after taking Yasmin for 13 days.
On Saturday Zapalski and her husband, Rafal Zapalski, 44, gathered with their attorneys at Clifford Law Offices.
“No one should have to go through what we did,” said Rafal Zapalski, a machinist. Doctors “have their patients’ lives in their hands, and they . . . need to be more careful when prescribing dangerous drugs to make sure they are right for the person. He didn’t take care of my wife, and now I have to do that for her.”
The doctor that prescribed Zapalski the medicine, Zbigniew Aniol, could not be reached for comment Saturday. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Last month, Resurrection Medical Center agreed to pay Zapalski $2.5 million in a negotiated settlement in the same case.
Contributing: Art Golab