MacNeal Memorial Hospital has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit alleging that nurses failed to monitor a 69-year-old patient after total knee replacement surgery.

Cook County Circuit Judge William D. Maddux, who presides over the Law Division, approved the settlement today.

Frank Perez, a retired sheet metal worker for Brach Candy Co., living in Cicero, had the surgery on April 23, 1999, in the Berwyn hospital.

Plaintiff attorney Robert J. Napleton of Motherway Glenn & Napleton alleged that nurses gave Perez a large dose of a narcotic pain medication known as fentanyl, then failed to monitor him. Perez went into respiratory and cardiac arrest, and suffered brain damage. He died less than two months later.

Perez is survived by his wife and three grown children. A case against a doctor and a nurse anesthetist is pending in court.

The case is The Estate of Frank Perez v. MacNeal Memorial Hospital, et al., No. 99 L 14477.