Judge Won't Compel Health System To Cover William Husel's Legal Fees

Jan 9, 2020

A federal judge has denied William Husel’s attempt to force his former employer’s parent company to cover the legal costs of his criminal defense.

On Wednesday, the judge rejected a preliminary injunction sought by Husel, who was fired in 2018 from Columbus-based Mount Carmel Health System.

Husels sued Mount Carmel's parent company, Trinity Health Corporation in Michigan, arguing that his professional liability insurance should cover the defense expenses. He says his ability to defend himself will be hurt if the hospital won't cover his legal costs, as it has in dozens of related civil cases.

The hospital fired Husel, an ICU doctor, for ordering “excessive” painkillers for dozens of patients over several years. All the patients died after receiving the doses.

Husel pleaded not guilty in a criminal case brought by Franklin County authorities.

Timeline: The Mount Carmel Scandal So Far

Since Husel’s firing was made public last January, dozens of families have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the doctor, Mount Carmel and other employees. Several of those suits have already been settled by the hospital.

A Franklin County judge last month denied Husel's bid to indefinitely delay those wrongful death lawsuits while his criminal case is ongoing.

Husel argues that he was not intentionally trying to kill patients, but rather providing appropriate end-of-life care. Last month, Husel sued Mount Carmel for defamation and breach of contract.

A criminal trial for Husel is scheduled for June 2020. He also faces the possible revocation of his medical license by the Ohio Medical Board.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

If you have information to share about the Mount Carmel investigation, please contact WOSU at paige.pfleger@wosu.org.