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Additional settlements reached 'in principle' in 10 wrongful death lawsuits against Husel, Mount Carmel

Husel was acquitted of murder after prosecutors alleged that he overprescribed doses of fentanyl and other drugs to the critically ill patients under his care.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Attorneys representing the families of former Mount Carmel patients say they have reached settlements “in principle” in 10 wrongful death lawsuits filed against Dr. William Husel and Mount Carmel Health System.

Official documents are expected to be presented in probate court.

Husel was acquitted earlier this year on 14 counts of murder after prosecutors alleged that he overprescribed doses of fentanyl and other drugs to the critically ill patients under his care.

RELATED: Jury finds Dr. William Husel not guilty on all 14 counts of murder

All of them died. His criminal defense attorneys argued to jurors that Husel’s conduct was not murder and that it was the patients’ medical conditions that contributed to their deaths – not Husel drug orders – which they acknowledged were aggressive.

Husel has since given up his medical license to practice in the state of Ohio.

RELATED: Husel surrenders medical license, medical board revokes it permanently

When 10 Investigates first broke the news in January 2019 of the patient dosing scandal inside Mount Carmel West hospital, only one wrongful death lawsuit had been filed. Over time, that number grew to more than two dozen complaints.

Husel was fired by the hospital in December 2018 in wake of questions over his patient care.

Family members of Husel’s patients had filed civil lawsuits alleging negligence on the part of Husel and the hospital for creating an environment in which there were lax controls and oversight over the dispensing of medication.

At last check, the hospital has paid out more than $20 million in legal settlements to the families of patients.

The most recent settlements reached in principle involved the following patients, according to attorney Craig Tuttle:

  • Troy Allison
  • Jim Allen
  • Brandy McDonald
  • Sandy Castle
  • Janet Kavanaugh
  • Beverlee Schirtzinger
  • Nick Timmons
  • Melissa Penix
  • Danny Mollette 
  • Bonnie Austin

Of the patients listed above, they received various amounts of the painkiller fentanyl while being treated at Mount Carmel. Their attorneys alleged the doses were inappropriate and accelerated their deaths.

Statement from Mount Carmel Health Systems

Mount Carmel has implemented many changes that enhance how our team provides the highest quality of care. There is nothing more important to us than our patients’ safety and their trust in us. The steps we have taken—and continue to take—reflect this commitment. It is our hope these settlements will bring some measure of closure and comfort to the families.

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