At least seven wrongful death lawsuits were settled by an Ohio Mount Carmel Health System hospital where a former intensive care physician worked. The doctor was fired over his involvement in the deaths of 25 patients. The settlements have reached almost $4.5 million and additional cases are still pending. According to WOSU Public Media, the former Mount Carmel doctor allegedly ordered excessive dosages of pain killers for some of the hospital’s patients. At Denman & Lerner Co., L.P.A., we understand how families are affected when hospitals and their medical practitioners are responsible for causing preventable injuries and fatalities.
After pleading not guilty to murder charges, the former Mount Carmel doctor claimed that he was only providing patients with pain killers to ease their end-of-life discomfort. A purported total of 25 patients have died while they were under his care between 2015 and 2018 for a variety of medical circumstances. While many patients are prescribed pain medication to ease their suffering, the hospital discovered that its former intensive care physician prescribed potentially fatal dosages for 29 of his patients.
Through an investigation, it was uncovered that the doctor found a way to override the hospital’s pain medication dispensing system. Excessive dosages of fentanyl were purportedly prescribed, and in one patient’s case, medical records noted that the doctor ordered the dosage before speaking with his family about end-of-life matters. His family received a settlement from the hospital, and it was stated that they agreed to taking their relative off life support, but they had not agreed upon their loved one being given excessive medication.
Hospitals may be held liable for the actions of their doctors, nurses and staff if you or a loved one is harmed. Settling lawsuits out of court which were filed over staff negligence or patients’ wrongful deaths is not unheard of.
Our page on medical malpractice provides more information on preventable medical errors and wrongful deaths.