New wrongful death lawsuit filed against Husel, Mount Carmel

File photo - Mount Carmel West (WBNS-10TV)
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COLUMBUS (WBNS) – A new wrongful death lawsuit filed against Mount Carmel Health System and Dr. William Husel involves a previously unidentified patient.

The lawsuit also names two other physicians, a nurse and pharmacist alleging that this patient’s death was hastened by a fatal dose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

To date, 35 patients have been identified by Mount Carmel as having received excessive or potentially fatal doses of pain medication between 2014 and 2018. Husel was indicted last week on 25 counts of murder. He has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Richard Blake, has said he did not intend to kill these patients.

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More than two dozen wrongful death lawsuits have been filed since the patient overdose scandal broke in January. According to a review of settlements by 10 Investigates, the hospital has already paid out more than $3.5 million to the families of these patients who died under Dr. William Husel’s care.

The patient named in this latest lawsuit, Drake Mills, had not been previously identified.

According to this latest lawsuit that was filed Thursday, Drake Mills was hospitalized at Mount Carmel West between June 11, 2018 and June 24, 2018 after suffering cardiac arrest.

“Staff attempted to remove a ventilator on June 19, but Mills’ condition quickly deteriorated and he was re-intubated,” according to the lawsuit that was filed Thursday. “The following day, on June 20, Mills was administered a fentanyl drip for pain control.”

His attorney, Scott Perlmuter, alleges that Mills suffered from chronic pancreatitis, a common symptom of which includes poor metabolic processes. “As a result, Mills was unable to process narcotics at a normal rate, a fact which the defendants should have been aware,” the suit claims.

The lawsuit goes on to allege that Mills’ status improved and the ventilator was removed on June 23, 2018.

“However, in the hours surrounding the ventilator withdrawal, Drake was prescribed, dispensed and administered by defendants grossly excessive doses of narcotics pain medication fentanyl, along with an assort of other respiratory analgesics and sedatives, the cumulative effect of which was lethal to Mr. Mills.”

The hospital says despite the lawsuit, they are confident this person was not one of the people affected by Dr. Husel’s actions.

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