Mount Carmel Doctor Fired for Ordering "Significantly Excessive" Doses of Pain Medication - Resulting in 27 Patient Deaths
Dr. William Husel Has Been Implicated in the Deaths of 27 Patients
Columbus, Ohio based Mount Carmel Health Systems announced the firing of Dr. William Husel this week after it was discovered that he ordered excessive dosages of medication that resulted in at least 27 deaths of patients from 2015 to 2018. (As reported by the Columbus Dispatch and national media outlets). According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Mount Carmel Health System has turned over information about Dr. Husel to local law enforcement and the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office. This may lead some to believe that the overdoses prescribed by Dr. Husel might have been intentional acts meant to take the lives of patients. Additionally, 6 pharmacists and 14 nurses have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed Against Mount Carmel Health System for Deaths From Pain Medication Overdoses
At least 3 wrongful death lawsuits have been brought so far against Mount Carmel Health System for deaths relating to Dr. Husel's actions. The 27 reported deaths occurred from 2015 - 2018. Ohio has a two year statute of limitations on wrongful death actions. This means that a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within 2 years of the death of the individual.
If a close loved one has passed away after being treated by Dr. Husel at Mount Carmel, then you may want to speak to a wrongful death attorney. Nothing can take away your grief, but you may be able to send a message to those that caused your loved one's death by taking decisive action now before the statute of limitation expires. Evan T. Engler is an attorney and partner at the Columbus, Ohio based law firm of Harris & Engler. If a close loved one has passed away after their treatment at Mount Carmel, then you can give Evan T. Engler a call at (614) 610-9988 to discuss your options.
When a Close Loved One Dies, There Are Usually Two Different Claims Brought in a Lawsuit to Collect Damages for Their Wrongful Death in Ohio
In Ohio, there is a statute that specifically spells out a cause of action for wrongful death (Ohio Revised Code chapter 2125). Basically, a wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed by a beneficiary of the person who died (most often a close family member like spouse, parent, or child). A wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit for damages by the beneficiaries themselves, for things like loss of consortium (loss of being able to communicate and have a relationship with the deceased) and loss of the kind of benefits that would have been expected had there been no death in the family. This means, if the person had never died in an accident, they likely would have made money and contributed to the family. A wrongful death lawsuit allows the close beneficiaries of the deceased to collect for those types of things and emotional pain. Damages for wrongful death claims can often be significant because you calculate how much income the deceased likely would have earned throughout the rest of their lifetime in order to start figuring out what would need to be paid to the beneficiaries in order to compensate them for the loss of this income. There are obviously more damages that are much more severe than the loss of the potential income from the deceased, such as damages for emotional pain relating ot the death of the individual.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit by the beneficiaries of the deceased for their losses caused by the death. A survivorship claim is a lawsuit filed on behalf of the estate of the person that died for the pain and suffering and other economic damages. In this way, a survivorship claim is a lawsuit by the person that died, and a wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit by those who were left behind by the death.
Most often these two claims, survivorship and wrongful death, are brought together in the same lawsuit in Ohio. The amount of the potential claim really is determined by the facts and circumstances of each case.
How Much Money Can You Get From a Wrongful Death or Survivorship Claim in Ohio?
Each wrongful death and survivorship claim in Ohio is unique and the damages (monetary award) can vary dramatically from case to case. The kinds of things that affect the monetary amount a jury might award will depend on a few things.
For a survivorship claim, this is a claim by the estate of the deceased person for their pain and suffering and expenses leading up to death. For this reason, if an individual is hurt in an accident, and then God forbid, suffers excruciating pain before they die, then after they passed away, their estate would have a serious claim for high dollar pain and suffering damages because of all the pain they went through before they passed away. On the other hand, if an individual died instantaneously in an accident, or suffered little to no pain before they died, then the estate would not have a very high monetary claim for pain and suffering but would be more limited to things like reimbursement for medical expenses.
For a wrongful death claim, a large part of the potential claim is the income that is lost to the surviving spouse and children after the tragic death of the individual. For this reason, a person who was making $200,000 per year before they died would leave a higher wrongful death claim than someone who made $20,000 per year, because the beneficiaries would have expected to receive much more income as a result of the higher earnings. On the other hand, no matter how much income the deceased person made before they died, the damage award for the beneficiaries for emotional and other non-income related losses are not easily measurable and are more dependent on how tragic or traumatic the death of the individual was for the survivors.
How Much Have Ohio Juries Awarded for Wrongful Death and Survivorship Claims?
Due to the nature of a wrongful death and survivorship lawsuit, jury awards around Ohio can be very high.
- In Roginski v. Shelly Co., 31 N.E.3d 724 (Ohio Ct. Com. Pl. 2014), an inspector for ODOT was inspecting a road construction project for Shelly Co. when he was struck and killed by a passing motorist. The jury awarded $19,000,000 to the beneficiaries in the wrongful death lawsuit and $20,000,000 in punitive damages (the Judge later reduced the punitive damages).
- In Estate of Beavers v. Knapp, 175 Ohio App.3d 758, 889 N.E. 181 (2000), the jury awarded compensatory damages of $787,600 and $750,000 in punitive damages against the employer and the employee who caused the victims auto accident death.
- In Freudeman v. The Landing of Canton, 702 F.3d 318 (6th Cir. 2012), the jury awarded $400,000 on the survivorship claim, $280,000 on the wrongful death claim, and punitive damages of $1,250,000. (The 6th Circuit later reduced the punitive damages to $800,000).
Many wrongful death and survivorship cases arise due to a tragic accident at a construction site, plane crash, train crash, auto accident, or work place accidents. If this has happened to a close loved one, then the close family members of the deceased may be entitled to compensation.
If a Close Loved One has Died as the Result of the Negligence of Another, You Need to Find a Wrongful Death Attorney
You've got enough to worry about after the death of a close loved one, you need a wrongful death attorney to handle the legal complexities of your case so that you can focus on your family and on getting better. Evan T. Engler is an attorney and partner at the Columbus, Ohio based law firm of Harris & Engler. You can give him a call to discuss your wrongful death case at (614) 610-9988. Harris & Engler helps clients all over Ohio.
Injury and Fatality Statistics for Driving in Ohio for the Past Few Years
Car accidents remain a leading cause of injury and death for Ohio drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Over the years in Ohio, the number of people who pass away from their injuries keeps increasing. In Ohio, in 2017, there were 1,179 fatalities from auto accidents. That number increased slightly from 1,133 traffic fatalities in 2016. Of those traffic crash fatalities in 2017, 471 of the deaths were the result of not wearing a seatbelt and 405 were OVI related fatalities. Also in 2017, out of 1,094 fatal auto accidents, 116 of them were accidents with a heavy truck, and 145 of those accidents killed pedestrians.
In 2016, for the whole state of Ohio, of the 1,133 fatalities from auto accidents, 431 of those deaths were the result of not wearing a seatbelt and 430 were OVI related fatalities. Also in 2016, out of the 1,055 fatal auto accidents, 93 of them were accidents with a heavy truck, and 140 of those accidents killed pedestrians.
Injury & Fatal Accidents in Delaware and Franklin Counties
The injury attorneys at Harris & Engler have offices in Columbus, Ohio and predominantly help personal injury victims in Columbus, Delaware County, and greater Central Ohio.
In Delaware County, Ohio, there were 1,081 injury accidents in 2017. Of those accidents, there were 12 fatalities. In 2016, there were 1,112 injury accidents in Delaware County, which lead to 21 fatalities.
The higher population of Columbus and surrounding areas of Franklin County make it have one of the highest concentrations of injury auto accidents in Ohio. In 2017, there were 9,436 injury accidents in Franklin County. Of those, there were 85 fatalities. In 2016, there were 9,291 injury accidents in Franklin County, which led to 87 fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an injury accident in Columbus, Delaware County, or elsewhere in Ohio, then you should consult with a personal injury attorney. You can talk to a personal injury attorney at Harris & Engler today by calling (614) 610-9988.
Does Snow and Ice and Wintery Weather in Central Ohio Change Anything You Have to Do After a Car Accident?
If you are involved in a minor accident in Ohio's wintery weather, where maybe there is little to no damage to your vehicle or the other vehicle, then here are a few tips.
- First, if you think your vehicle has been hit, or if you've hit another vehicle, then you should pull over to the nearest place on the side of the road where it is safe to pull over. Make sure that you are not putting yourself or any other vehicles in danger by where you are stopped, and by getting out of your vehicle.
- Make sure that everyone is OK. If you or anyone else indicates that they may be injured, then call your local police department or State Highway Patrol to report the accident and get a police officer and/or ambulance out to the scene as soon as possible.
- If there are no injuries, then check out the damage to the vehicles and take lots of pictures of all sides of all vehicles involved.
- The law requires you to remain on the scene of the accident until the drivers of all vehicles involved have exchanged each other's name, address, and vehicle registration number. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, then that driver will need to give the name and address of the owner of the vehicle. You will also want to exchange insurance identification cards, take a picture of the other driver's Driver's ID car with your phone camera, and take a picture of the other driver's license plate.
- It is generally a good idea to call the other driver's insurance company at the scene of the accident in order to make sure that they are current on their insurance and are covered - you do not need to file a claim right then and there.
- After the accident, if you have comprehensive collision coverage, then you can contact your own insurance company. You have the choice to either file a claim through your own insurance company or through the at fault driver's insurance company. If you go through your insurance company, then you will likely have a deductible (which is recoverable).
Is it really necessary to contact the police after a minor accident?
- If there are injuries or significant damages to any vehicle - then yes, call the local police as soon as possible after the accident (especially in cold weather in order to get them out to the accident quicker).
- For minor fender benders - it can be more of a judgment call:
- The reasons to call the police is to get a police report documenting the accident. If you get any indication that there might be problems in getting the other driver to cooperate with you in proceeding with an insurance claim, then call the police.
- If there is no noticeable damage to either vehicle and it is very cold outside and you have exchanged all information with the other driver, and taken photographs of both vehicles, then you probably do not have to notify the police.
- Even if there is no damage to the vehicles, you still want to get photographs in order to prevent possible insurance fraud by the other party in the future (them claiming damages to their vehicle after the accident). With this in mind, get photographs of the entire vehicle.
- If the accident is truly minor, and no one is injured, then in Columbus you can file your own traffic accident report anytime within 6 months of the accident.
- In Columbus you can download a form online and submit the form yourself. You can find this form by Googling "Columbus police traffic accident report."
- Anywhere outside of Columbus you may not be able to do this, but you can always contact your local police department and ask about getting a crash report after the fact of the accident (this should be done as soon as possible after the accident.)
Is it necessary to have an attorney for a minor vehicle accident?
- For a minor vehicle accident you most likely will not need an attorney. If you have insurance and the other driver has insurance, then you simply need to contact your insurance company and have them sort things out with the other insurance company. That is partially what you pay your insurance company for - to do the work and sort things out for you.
- You may need an attorney if the at fault driver was uninsured and you only have liability insurance, i.e., there is no insurance coverage for the accident. In this situation, an attorney can be helpful to you in filing a BMV form in order to suspend the at-fault driver's license until they pay you for your damages.
Can I still be at fault for an accident even though it was because my vehicle was uncontrollably sliding on ice?
- In Ohio, the law will never consider an accident to be the ice's fault rather than a drivers. Even if the circumstances of the accident were beyond your control, the law in Ohio will still hold you responsible if you violate the Assured Clear Distance Ahead law (where you need to leave enough room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to make a complete stop).
- You are legally responsible for making the decision to drive in bad weather conditions. If you get into an accident in bad weather conditions, then the law will deem it to be your fault for putting yourself into that situation in the first place. If it is not safe to be driving, then you should not be driving.
Is there anything that I can do to better prepare myself for driving in snowy or icy road conditions?
- The best thing you can do in Ohio when driving in the winter is to be prepared ahead of time so that you can either better avoid a traffic accident or be better prepared if you are actually involved in one.
- In the winter, it is a good idea to keep a few items in your vehicle just in case you ever get stuck in the snow, such as: a metal shovel for digging yourself out of the snow and through ice, road flares to warn other drivers, a blanket and some extra warm clothes in case you get stranded, a bag of kitty litter to spread out under your tires in case you get stuck in ice or snow.
- It is also a good idea to always keep a pen and paper in your glove compartment along with your insurance information so that if you have to write down the other driver's information after an accident then you have something available
- Check your insurance to see if you have comprehensive and underinsured/uninsured coverage, and road side assistance. Comprehensive and collision insurance coverage provides payment for your own vehicle if you are involved in an accident, even if you are at fault. Uninsured coverage provides coverage for your own vehicle if you get involved in an accident with someone without insurance.
Personal Injury from Car Accidents in Ohio
When you've been injured in an accident, it is best to find your own personal injury attorney based on who you think would be a good fit for you and your needs. The best personal injury attorney for your needs will generally have the experience to know how to move your case forward to get the best results possible and a lawyer who will put in the time necessary to get the best results.
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years. This means that you have to either settle your personal injury case or file a lawsuit wthin two years from the date of the accident or you will be forever barred from bringing a lawsuit for your personal injury damages. While two years is not a very long time, you should not necessarily sign up with the first personal injury attorney that you come across to handle your case. Right after your accident, you should be focusing on getting better, not on finding an attorney. If you were injured in a car accident in Central Ohio, then you've probably received a bunch of mail pamphlets or text messages from personal injury attorneys. You will genearlly be better off in picking your own car accident personal injury lawyer based on whether you like and get along with that lawyer, and whether you think that lawyer is going to put in the time and effort necessary to get you the best results for your case.
If you would like to see if our law firm is a good fit to handle your personal injury case, then we encourage you to give one of the attorneys at Harris & Engler a call. The attorneys at Harris & Engler are experienced personal injury attorneys who only take on a selective case load of personal injury cases so that they can put in the time necessary to properly handle the case and get the best possible results.
Disclaimer: Harris & Engler offers this website and the content on it for informational purposes only, as a service for our clients and friends. The contents of this site are not considered legal advice for any purpose, and you should not consider them as such advice or as legal opinion on any matters.
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