Former critical care doctor, William Husel, was recently charged with murder for causing the deaths of twenty-five patients at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Husel plead not guilty and the criminal case remains pending.
Lawsuits – $4.5 million aggregate paid
Numerous families for the patients who were given excessive pain pill doses brought civil actions for the loss of loved ones. Media outlets report that settlements range from $200,000 to $700,000 and total settlement in aggregate is $4.5 million to-date.
Lawyers for the families may be concerned that the hospital has a legal argument that the doctor went “outside the scope” of his employment when he over-prescribed the pain pills, therefore, relieving them of liability for his misdeeds. This fear is legitimate and may be the reason the settlement values are lower than expected for such egregious conduct and loss of life.
Negligent hiring and supervision
Under Ohio law, an employer is typically liable for the acts of its employee, if those acts are during the course and scope of employment. An employer may also be liable if it fails to properly screen, train, and monitor its employees. Bringing a lawsuit for negligence rather than intentional conduct helps to ensure all potential insurance policies are not voided; most policies will not cover intentional conduct.
Over-prescribing opiates and subsequent wrongful death – the value of life
Our firm is currently handling numerous cases related to opiate overdose deaths. Doctors should share the responsibility of correcting our opioid epidemic and are directly responsible for the consequences of over-prescribing pain pills to patients.
Our firm helps hold doctors accountable if they are careless with opiate prescriptions. For example, our firm recently settled a case with an Ohio doctor for $1 million after he over-prescribed opiates. The patient was a man who was not given the opportunity for conservative non-medication based treatment. After years of prescriptions, he abused his medication, overdosed, and died. The money helped his surviving wife and children set up a fund for further education. They also bought a small home without the need for a mortgage. Please call us for a free case evaluation today.