Court filings address conditions of Mount Carmel patients before their death

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The attorney for Dr. William Husel is asking for a stay, or a delay in three of the wrongful death lawsuits his client faces, pending the completion of a possible criminal case.

The motions were filed in response to the lawsuits on behalf of the families of Jeremia Hodge, Jan Thomas and Bonnie Austin.

Gregory Foliano, Husel’s attorney wrote:

The law is that the criminal case, if one is pursued, is designed to come first. It is also designed under the law to happen quickly. For this reason, it is not unreasonable to stay this case, and a stay will not cause an unreasonable delay.

A judge has yet to rule on the motion, which also highlights Foliano’s interpretation of the facts.

In the case involving Thomas, the defense wrote that the patient suffered a large stroke and shortly before death, “…was not compatible with life or any meaningful recovery…”

Husel’s attorney wrote, in reference to the case on behalf of Austin’s family, that she “…never regained consciousness after her [cardiac] arrest.”

Additionally, Foliano wrote that Hodge was “…in a pulseless arrest…” shortly before dying.

David Shroyer, the attorney for all three of the patients’ families, said the women’s conditions before death are not the issue. 

Instead, he told NBC4 that the doses of fentanyl each woman received, is what is of concern.

“We have alleged that this dosage of fentanyl was lethal and it terminated their lives before their natural termination would’ve occurred, so under Ohio law, that’s not permitted,” he said. “Under Ohio law, there is absolutely no justifiable reason for administering a dose of medication that you know will cause death, premature death, from what normally would occur.”

NBC4 attempted to contact Foliano for comment, however, we have not received a response.

To date, 16 wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Husel, the Mount Carmel Health System and others.

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