Latest Mount Carmel lawsuit names woman who died after hospital learned of allegations

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The latest wrongful death lawsuit to be filed against Mount Carmel Health System, its former doctor William Husel and caregivers names an 80-year-old woman who died after the hospital first learned of concerns involving Dr. Husel’s patient care.

The lawsuit states that 80-year-old Sandra Castle died at Mount Carmel on Nov. 13, 2018 after receiving 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl. Castle had been taken to Mount Carmel West on Nov. 9, 2018 after suffering a cardiac arrest. She died three days later.

A portion of her medical records provided by the law firm of Leeseberg & Valentine, which represents her estate, show that before Castle received 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl there was minimal to no response to verbal or physical stimulation.

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Her family’s attorneys allege in the lawsuit that on October 25, 2018, Mount Carmel received a “formal report” regarding “significant concerns about the care provided to its patients by Dr. William Husel,” the lawsuit states. “This ‘formal report’ was triggered by the death of James Nickolas Timmons at Mount Carmel West Hospital, just minutes after he received a lethal dose of fentanyl by Dr. Husel. To date, Mount Carmel has not identified any action it took in response to this ‘formal report.’”

“Just three weeks later,” the lawsuit states, “Dr. Husel did it again; with the help of his co-defendants…”

The hospital removed Husel from patient care on Nov. 21, 2018.

Three patients died between October 25, 2018 – when the hospital first received that “formal report” – and Nov. 21, 2018 when Husel was removed.

The three patients were – Sandra Castle; Rebecca Walls, who died on November 19, 2018 and Melissa Penix, who died on Nov. 20, 2018.

The hospital fired him on December 5 following an internal investigation. That’s around the same time the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and the Columbus Division of Police began investigating.

The lawsuit also names a nurse, Stephanie LeChard, and Janet Whittey, a pharmacy manager who is no longer with Mount Carmel. The hospital has not said if Whittey was fired or quit in wake of the scandal there.

To date, 35 patients have been said to have received excessive doses of pain medication between 2015 and 2018. The hospital has said that 29 of the patients received potentially fatal doses of drugs.

Castle’s lawsuit marks the 24th wrongful death lawsuit to be filed. Online court records show that only 23 lawsuits have been officially filed with the clerk’s office.

This story will be updated.