A whopping 24th wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed against the Columbus, Ohio Mount Carmel Health System. This suit, as well as the others, stems from the investigation into critical-care patients given excessive doses of painkillers shortly before their deaths.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court named Mount Carmel, but it also named Dr. William Husel, who worked as an intensive-care doctor for the system from 2013 until his firing in December 2018.
According to the Mount Carmel West physicians guide, Husel graduated from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, did his internship and residency at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital and his fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in critical care. The Mount Carmel West bio shows that Husel is not board-certified.
What Happened to Peggy Francies?
In this newest suit, John Francies of Grove City, Ohio says his wife, Peggy, died on Oct. 9, 2017, after receiving an excessive dose of the extremely dangerous opioid fentanyl. That fentanyl was ordered by Dr. Husel at Mount Carmel West hospital in Franklinton, Ohio.
The suit filed says Mrs. Francies, 73, had been taken to the hospital the day before her death with septic shock related to kidney failure. She died 35 minutes after a 200 microgram dose of fentanyl was administered for removal of a breathing machine.
One of the inspection reports indicates that a Mount Carmel policy updated after Husel’s firing says the usual adult dose of fentanyl is 50 to 100 micrograms.
The lawsuit says that Mr. Francies has not even received any communication from Mount Carmel but recently learned that administrators were trying to reach him to tell him his wife had received an excessive dose of fentanyl.
And What About Janet Kavanaugh?
According to the court documents filed by the estate of Janet Kavanaugh, in December of 2017, Husel ordered 1000 micrograms of fentanyl be administered to Kavanaugh. According to the Oxford Treatment data sheet, the “lethal dose for fentanyl is generally stated to be 2 milligrams. The lethal dose of fentanyl is extremely small compared to many other opiate drugs. The dose she was given is equal to 1 milligram. Oxford says that body weight, age, and previous use of opioids are factored into the deadly dose equation.
Court documents state that Kavanaugh’s dose ordered by Husel, approved by the pharmacist and administered by the nurse through an IV, as ordered by the doctor. The fatal dose was administered at 5:45 A.M. Kavanaugh was announced dead at 6:03 A.M.
The hospital informed the family a year after her death that she’d been given a deadly dose. Then, more than a year later, said she was not the only patient to have been killed.
In the lawsuit, a Massachusetts doctor certified in emergency medicine and toxicology filed an affidavit saying the amount of fentanyl administered to Kavanaugh was “inappropriate and excessive.”
CEO Ed Lamb of Mount Carmel Comes Clean
So it seems that Mount Carmel has come clean. They have stated that the 43-year-old Dr. Husel ordered excessive painkiller doses for THIRTY-FIVE critically ill patients going back to at least 2015, with twenty-nine of those doses being potentially fatal. Husel’s medical license has been suspended, and law enforcement authorities are investigating.
Ed Lamb, president, and CEO at Mount Carmel West hospital faced the camera and admitted in a public statement that more than two dozen dying patients were purposely given deadly doses of the world’s most powerful pain medication without their or their families’ consent.
Lamb said that after an “internal investigation” over the course of his five years at the hospital, Husel “ordered significantly excessive and potentially fatal doses of pain medication for at least 27 patients who were near death.”
Lamb does not explain how Husel, pharmacists, and nurses were able to order, approve and even administer the medications without permission. Here is that admission statement via YouTube.
Hospital CEO Lamb qualified his video statement uploaded to YouTube by saying at the outset that the families of the 27 patients had requested all saving measures be stopped. He does not say any family members asked to have their loved ones’ lives ended.
“We apologize for this tragedy,” Lamb said. “And we’re truly sorry for the additional grief this may have caused the families.”
“…the actions instigated by (Husel) were unacceptable …” Lamb said Husel’s actions have “brought shock and hurt to our organization…”
Dr. Husel’s Defense
Husel’s criminal attorney says that he did not intend to kill anyone, and his civil attorney has argued in court filings that he is immune from civil litigation and not liable for damages from such lawsuits. While that may or may not be true, and the courts will decide, if you or your family are in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to consult Wrongful Death Attorney Morgan McGrath. She will represent your family in that very trying time of need when it comes to wrongful death.
Husel, registered nurse Tyler Rudman and pharmacist Talon Schroyer are all named in the civil lawsuit filed against the hospital. But it turns out that around 20 hospital employees in total have been placed on paid leave as a result of the investigation, hospital officials confirm.
The lawsuit accuses the hospital, Husel, Schroyer and Rudman of battery, medical negligence, negligence, wrongful death and in particular, Mount Carmel West of negligence in its supervision of Husel.
Husel was fired and law enforcement was contacted, Lamb said adding 20 other staffers were “removed from providing” care for patients. Those employees have not all been named nor their respective roles in patient care identified save to say they’re mostly nurses and pharmacy staff. Lamb says that the hospital works with families to help dying patients: “We believe in helping patients near death die peacefully,” he said.
Husel is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, a D.O., not an M.D., though the two are the same in terms of certification to practice, though training and philosophy may differ. Husel is critical care or intensivists specialist with more than a decade of experience. According to state records, Husel still has his license and has faced no board actions.
This is a monster case with many plaintiffs. Attorney Morgan McGrath has taken on plenty of wrongful death hospital cases. Contact her here to make a consultation now!