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'We don't have to prove that Dr. Husel intended to kill someone': Civil trial next step in Husel case

The deposition of Dr. William Husel will start May 9 and last one week.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Although a jury found former Mount Carmel physician Dr. William Husel not guilty of ordering excessive amounts of painkillers that caused the deaths of 14 patients, the civil case remains.

The attorney representing Husel's patients said his strategy to convince a jury to award damages against Husel and his former employer is simple.

"We don't have to prove that Dr. Husel intended to kill someone, we just have to prove cause and effect. He did something wrong and it harmed these patients," said Gerry Leeseberg, the attorney representing the families of Dr. Husel's patients.

It's a much lower bar than in the criminal case where the state had to prove Dr. Husel intended to kill his patients by overprescribing fentanyl and other medications.

Leeseberg said an acquittal in one case will have no bearing on what happens in a civil court.

He compared the murder trial against Husel to that of O.J. Simpson.

"How did that work for O.J. Simpson? As everyone knows he was acquitted in the criminal trial but then had to take the stand and defend himself in the civil trial and ended up with a $35 million verdict against him," Leeseberg said.

Unlike the Dr. Husel criminal trial, where Husel never took the stand to defend himself, the civil trial will be different because Dr. Husel will be deposed.

"The time for lawyer talk is over, we look forward to deposing Dr. Husel and we will finally get the answer everyone is asking: What was Dr. Husel thinking?" Leeseberg said.

In the criminal trial, Dr. Husel was described as a doctor who did what was best for his patients.

The attorney representing his patients plans to show the opposite.

"Was his heart in the right place? We're going to find out. It doesn't make any difference. You don't get to do what you want to do as a doctor and disregard whatever standard of medical practice are," Leeseberg said.

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