Flurry of legal activity in Mount Carmel cases

File photo (WBNS-10TV)

COLUMBUS (WBNS) – Over the past two weeks, a flurry of legal activity has occurred in connection to the Mount Carmel patient overdose scandal.

Civil attorneys representing the patients’ families have made it clear in recent court filings that they want to depose the nurses and pharmacists connected to the scandal in which 35 patients who are alleged to have received “excessive” or “potentially fatal” overdoses of pain medications – mainly involving the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. All of the near-death patients died while under Dr. William Husel’s care.

Meanwhile, attorneys representing William Husel and ten former Mount Carmel employees have filed two separate defamation lawsuits against Mount Carmel Health System, its former CEO Ed Lamb and Mount Carmel’s parent company, Trinity Health.

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In the most recent lawsuit filed on December 26, attorneys for Husel allege that the former Mount Carmel intensive care physician was defamed by the hospital’s repeated public statements that Husel ordered “excessive”, “potentially fatal” or “fatal doses” of drugs. Husel’s attorneys allege this is flat wrong.

“Mount Carmel and Trinity have fought taking part in discovery in the civil cases because they have caught themselves in a bind. Defendants know that discovery in the civil cases will shed light on what actually occurred – that each patient died from their illnesses and not
from medication given in their last moments to provide comfort,” the lawsuit stated.

Husel was fired by Mount Carmel in December of 2018 after an internal investigation that was prompt by an employee coming forward in October of that year with concerns about his patient care.

The lawsuit also alleged that the hospital’s investigation was flawed.

Mount Carmel released a statement saying: "Allegations such as these are unfounded. We completed an extensive review of patient care provided by Dr. William Husel and stand by our decisions. Mount Carmel’s focus continues to be on caring for our patients."

Husel faces 25 counts of murder in connection with the scandal. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial is set for June.