Brother of Mount Carmel patient “angered, frustrated” by months of lack of answers

File photo - Mount Carmel West (WBNS-10TV)

COLUMBUS (WBNS) – For the past four months, Albert Bellisari has been reliving his sister Joanne’s death.

“I think about this every day that they allowed this to go on twice before Joanne in 2015 … They shortened her life. He took her right to choose her death away,” Bellisari told 10 Investigates on Friday.

His sister is one of 35 patients believed to have received an excessive or potentially fatal dose of pain medications at Mount Carmel Health System.

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Twenty-eight wrongful death lawsuits have been leveled against the hospital and its former doctor, William Husel, who the hospital fired after an internal investigation into his patient care in December.

This week, attorneys for Dr. Husel and Mount Carmel Health System filed several motions in court, asking that the wrongful death lawsuits but put on hold until any potential criminal case against Husel is resolved.

Husel has not been charged with a crime and his criminal defense attorney, Richard Blake, has said he did not intend to kill those patients.

“If he's charged with a crime, I'd say he deserved it,” Albert Bellisari told 10 Investigates on Friday.

When asked what his reaction would be if Husel is not charged, Bellisari said: “Mount Carmel is still negligent.”

Gerald Leeseberg, an attorney representing 17 of the families suing Mount Carmel, called the moves by the attorneys for the hospital and Husel “a desperate strategy to hide what happened.”

Mount Carmel released a statement in response, saying:

“It's disappointing that Mr. Leeseberg continues to misrepresent the facts of these cases. While we have resisted responding to previous accusations, we will not allow Mount Carmel's accountability and integrity to be questioned. Our legal request for a temporary pause is common when ongoing governmental and criminal investigations are occurring at the same time as civil lawsuits. We stand by our commitment to doing what is right and fair for the families affected by these events. Mount Carmel does not intend to publicly debate these lawsuits, but it is important for the community to know that accusations about a cover up are simply not true.”