COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Franklin County judge has rejected an argument by an attorney representing former Mount Carmel doctor William Husel, who was asking the court to seal from public view statements Husel gave to attorneys representing patients’ families during an August deposition.
The attorneys for the patients’ families argue the patients were overprescribed doses of fentanyl and other drugs while they were dying or critically ill under Husel’s care.
While Husel was acquitted of 14 counts of murder in April, he and Mount Carmel Health System still face ten wrongful death lawsuits that allege they were negligent and responsible for the deaths of the patients.
Attorney Greg Foliano, who represents Husel, had asked the court last month to seal Husel’s deposition in its entirety – arguing certain statements Husel made during the ten-day deposition should be kept confidential ahead of any trial and that they may cause further embarrassment or harm to his client.
Foliano also argued that attorneys for the patients’ families simply want to try the case in the public view, rather the courtroom.
In his ruling Wednesday, Judge David Young rejected Foliano’s argument and directed attorneys to follow a stipulated court order – which directs attorneys to identify what portions of the transcript may need to be deemed confidential and to work out which areas might be redacted or when the court may have to intervene.
It's not clear if or when the transcripts might be released publicly. A court reporter involved, who was contacted by 10 Investigates Wednesday, said she could not release the transcripts or recordings without permission of all attorneys involved.
Attorneys for the patients’ families opposed the motion to seal Husel’s deposition, arguing some of the details revealed in the 10-day deposition in August have already been reported on – including that Husel faced pipe bomb charges while in college at Wheeling Jesuit College in West Virginia and that he has been divorced previously and since re-married to a nurse he worked with at Mount Carmel West.
“We shouldn't be handcuffed to not talk about what he said and what he didn't say," Attorney Dave Shroyer told 10 Investigates earlier this month. "This deposition was taken down by a court reporter who was under oath. It was videotaped by a videographer.
"We want to file both of those and make those available... I think it's an important public policy issue. I think it's important for the public to know what the thought process was of William Husel in this case."