William Husel Denied Another Bid To Pause Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Dec 13, 2019

William Husel has been unsuccessful in his latest bid to pause more than a dozen lawsuits over the deaths of patients at Mount Carmel Health System.

Husel pleaded not guilty to 25 counts of murder this summer. Husel and the health system argued the civil cases in Columbus should be put on hold during his criminal case, so it doesn't hamper their ability to defend themselves in the lawsuits.

In June, a county judge refused to their request, saying that the delay they sought was indefinite and wouldn’t serve the public interest.

Timeline: The Mount Carmel Scandal So Far 

"A large number of families are involved in these cases, and they want to find out what happened to their loved ones and have their day in court," wrote Franklin County Magistrate Ed Skeens in his decision.

Husel and Mount Carmel appealed that decision, but a state court has now dismissed it for procedural reasons. The court concluded the judge's order wasn't a final one that could be appealed.

Mount Carmel fired Husel last December. The hospital has since identified 35 ICU patients over a five-year period who were given higher-than-usual doses of fentanyl at Husel’s orders. All the patients died after receiving the medication.

The families of 24 patients have filed wrongful death lawsuits against Husel, the hospital, nurses and pharmacists. Several of those suits were settled by the hospital, at a cost of roughly $13.5 million

Husel’s lawyer said the doctor was providing comfort care to dying patients, not trying to kill him. He faces 15 years to life for each individual murder charge, one of the largest murder cases in Ohio history.

A criminal trial is scheduled for June 2020, with jury selection beginning in late May.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.