Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: Alleged Deadly Dosing by Mount Carmel Doctor
Medical Malpractice Attorney Gerald Leeseberg was hired by the family of Janet Kavanaugh who was 79 years old and near death when she was transferred from an assisted care facility to Mount Carmel West hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Her family asked that lifesaving measures be stopped, and that Kavanaugh be comfortable for her remaining time. Kavanaugh died Dec. 11, 2017. As Leeseberg began to review records from the assisted care facility and Mount Carmel he noticed a concerning pattern. Mount Carmel has now identified 25 patients under the care of William Husel – including Kavanaugh – who received an “excessive and potentially fatal” dose of the opioid fentanyl, which is used as a painkiller. All 27 patients later died, according to a statement by the hospital.
Medical malpractice lawsuits for alleged deadly dosing
Kavanaugh’s family filed suit on Monday, January 14 against Husel, Mount Carmel, a pharmacist and a nurse. As more families come forward, Leeseberg is reviewing more cases. As of last week, three lawsuits have been filed in relation to the deadly dosing allegations.
Actions taken by Mount Carmel and Cleveland Clinic
Mount Carmel Health System announced that Husel was fired on Monday, January 14 and that they had taken action against 20 other hospital employees including nurses who had administered these medications and staff pharmacists who had prescribed them.
A spokesperson for Mount Carmel says that they were first contacted about Husel’s behavior in late October 2018. While looking into that accusation, another alleged incident happened on November 19, which caused the hospital to take action. In addition, Mount Carmel is putting in place many new preventive policies including “…a new escalation policy for increases in pain medication dosing, and a new approval process for pain medication at high doses during light situations.”
In December the hospital notified Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and began reaching out to families. The hospital says that it remains unclear whether Husel had received informed consent from his patients but “physician-assisted death” remains illegal in Ohio.
A statement released by Cleveland Clinic where Husel was a resident, said it already has “multiple safeguards” in place to prevent medication errors and excessive prescription drug doses and that “A preliminary review found that his prescribing history during his employment as a resident at Cleveland Clinic was consistent with appropriate care provided to patients in the intensive care unit.”
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