David Austin took his wife Bonnie, who was having difficulty breathing, to Mount Carmel West hospital on Sept. 30, 2018. Within hours, Bonnie was dead.
Bonnie is one of 27 people given an excessive dose of the pain medication fentanyl by Mount Carmel doctor William Husel. All 27 people subsequently died.
David filed a wrongful death suit against Mount Carmel, Husel, a pharmacist and a nurse. It’s the second such lawsuit this week, following the announcement of Husel's firing from Mount Carmel on Monday. A third lawsuit was filed late Wednesday, and it's likely more are on the way.
Schoyer says Husel ordered dosages of fentanyl and versed, a sedative, and administered them to Austin through her IV. The lawsuit alleges it wasn’t until after Husel administered the drugs that he informed the family Bonnie was brain dead. However, this allegation is only based on David’s memory of the incident.
“I told him, I said, ‘Is there no chance?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Well then, we’ll have to let her go.’ Me and my wife said if there’s no hope, let her go,” David recounts, crying.
According to a Mount Carmel medical report, the fentanyl and versed were ordered and administered by about 11:20 p.m. Bonnie died before midnight.
When asked if his wife might have requested the drugs, David said plainly: “No, she wouldn’t do that. She would never do that.”
The first lawsuit filed against Husel concerns 79-year-old Janet Kavanaugh, who died on Dec. 11, 2017. Like Bonnie, Kavanaugh was near-death and given a "potentially fatal" dosage of fentanyl by Husel.
Along with Husel and Mount Carmel, the defendants in the second lawsuit include pharmacist Talon Schroyer, mentioned in the first case, and nurse Yussuf Ibrow.
There is nothing on Husel's disciplinary record with the State Medical Board, but that doesn't mean he was never investigated or reported. The same is true of Schroyer's record with the State Board of Pharmacy, and Ibrow's record with the State Board of Nursing.
The family’s lawyer, David Schroyer, says he is investigating other claims of wrongdoing as more families come forward, including a case from three and a half years ago that has not yet been filed.
Update: A third lawsuit was filed against Mount Carmel Health System and doctor William Husel. It was filed on behalf of Troy Allison, 44, who died July 15, 2018.