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William Husel's Lawyer Argues Doctor Can't Testify In Wrongful Death Cases

Fired Mount Carmel doctor William Husel
Mount Carmel
Fired Mount Carmel doctor William Husel

Documents filed by William Husel’s lawyer reveal details of three of at least 34 patients who died while under his care at Mount Carmel Health System.

Husel’s lawyer filed the documents on Wednesday in hopes of staying several civil cases brought against him. The motion to stay states that Husel cannot speak on the civil cases while under criminal investigation by the Franklin County’s Prosecutors office, because he could self-incriminate. 

“The law is that the criminal case, if one is pursued, is designed to come first,” the filing reads.

The documents detail the conditions of Bonnie Austin, Jan Thomas, and Jeremia Hodge. Both Austin and Hodge experienced cardiac arrest, and Thomas had a stroke. The descriptions of their conditions support the hospital’s claim that many patients involved were “near death.”

The three women were among at least 34 patients who died after receiving what the hospital calls “excessive” doses of painkillers. The women are also the subjects of three wrongful death lawsuits against Mount Carmel and Husel. As of Friday, 16 lawsuits have been filed in total.

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The filings also detail a history of health problems for each woman. Austin had a history of pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, and the filing describes her going into cardiac arrest twice and being resuscitated twice while en route to the hospital.

“Her pulse was lost at lease twice more, resulting in multiple rounds of chest compressions over more than an hour,” it describes. “She never regained consciousness after her arrest.” 

Thomas was found unresponsive, and responders were not able to wake her when she reached Mount Carmel West’s emergency department.

“A radiological study showed she had suffered most likely a large stroke in the brain stem,” the documents state. “Neurology was consulted, noting that her presentation was not compatible with life or any meaningful recovery.” 

Hodge experienced cardiac arrest, and by the time the fire department arrived, she had no heartbeat.

“Upon her arrival to the hospital, she still had no heartbeat.” Hodge was taking to the catheterization laboratory where “it was determined there was nothing they could do.”

These documents were filed in response to attorney David Shroyer, who argues that Husel should answer questions about his conduct under oath.

Husel worked the hospital from 2013 until December 2018, when he was fired. His medical license was suspended by the Ohio Medical Board last month, and on Wednesday he was served a citation saying he could face further discipline.

If you are a Mount Carmel staffer who has information to share, or you believe your loved one or family member was impacted by this case, contact WOSU at paige.pfleger@wosu.org.