COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Several of the wrongful death lawsuits filed against Mount Carmel Health Systems and Dr. William Husel have been settled.
Details of the settlements have not yet been filed in court. Meanwhile, negotiations to resolve many of the remaining cases have broken down, according to one of the plaintiff attorneys.
Husel was fired by Mount Carmel after the hospital uncovered evidence that Husel ordered excessive and potentially lethal doses of pain medication for patients under his care. Husel’s lawyer has denied his client negligently or intentionally caused patients’ deaths.
More than two dozen wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Mount Carmel and Dr. Husel since mid-January.
Attorney Kevin Kurgis confirms that the two cases he filed on behalf of the estates of Lora Stone and Corrinnia Blake, have been settled.
Details of the settlement will have to be approved by probate court.
Earlier this week, Husel’s attorney filed a motion to consolidate all of the wrongful death cases.
Attorney David Shroyer, whose firm is handling three of the lawsuits, said it makes sense to consolidate the cases for purposes of sharing discovery and deposing witnesses.
Asked about the status of negotiations, Shroyer said, “We expect to go to trial.”
Asked whether the motion to consolidate is a sign that attempts to mediate settlements in the cases has failed, Leeseberg said, “Yes.”
Leeseberg said, “Our view is that Mount Carmel has not realistically evaluated these cases.”
Leeseberg issued the following statement:
“At the request of Mt. Carmel, the families of patients killed by Dr. Husel were all willing to engage in an early effort to settle the claims through mediation and avoid lengthy, expensive and emotionally traumatic litigation. Although Mt. Carmel has publicly acknowledged responsibility for these patients’ deaths, its insurance carrier offered settlements to the families that are unreasonable, offensive, and disrespectful of the impact and toll these deaths have had on the family members. As a result, we will now begin the formal discovery process and conduct our own independent investigation into how Mt. Carmel allowed these 35 deaths to occur over such a long period of time, the responsibility and failures of staff nurses and pharmacy personnel, and who in hospital administration turned a blind eye to Dr. Husel’s actions.”