Lawsuit: 3 Mount Carmel patients died within hours of each other after given lethal doses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The latest wrongful death lawsuit filed against Mount Carmel Health System claims that three patients died within hours of each other after they were administered lethal doses fentanyl.

The law firm Leeseberg & Valentine filed suit Tuesday against Mount Carmel and Dr. William Husel in the October 2017 death of 73-year-old Peggy Francies.

The lawsuit states Husel gave “inappropriate and lethal doses” of fentanyl to three patients within a two and a half hour period on October 9, 2017.

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Francies was brought to Mount Carmel on Oct. 8 for treatment of sepsis due to renal failure, the lawsuit states. Less than 24 hours after arriving at the hospital, it was recommended that she be changed to a DNR status and that care be withdrawn. Shortly thereafter, Husel reportedly ordered 200 mcg of fentanyl for ventilator withdrawal. She died shortly after receiving the medication, the lawsuit claims.

Francies death came minutes before the death of Mount Carmel patient Timothy Fitzpatrick and around two hours before Beverlee Schirtzinger, the lawsuit claims.

To date, Mount Carmel and Husel are facing 25 wrongful death lawsuits. In nearly all of the cases, the patients were said to be on a ventilator and given “excessive” or “grossly inappropriate” doses of fentanyl or other pain medication while their ventilators were being removed.

Husel was fired by the hospital in December following an internal investigation. An ongoing criminal investigation is underway.

The hospital has said that 35 patients who died between 2014 and 2018 were given excessive doses of pain medication – 29 of those patients received doses that the hospital considered to be “potentially fatal.”

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