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Attorneys for families impacted by Mount Carmel overdoses react as CEO says he'll resign

jackie - mt carmel west sign.jpg
File Photo of Mt. Carmel West hospital in Columbus, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE)

Months after news broke that dozens of Mount Carmel patients died under the care of then doctor William Husel over a four year period, CEO Ed Lamb now says he's resigning and multiple employees have been fired.

"This was a difficult decision," said Lamb in a video statement Thursday, "I truly want the best interest for our organization, our colleagues and the people we serve."

Twenty-three employees have been fired, including managers. One unnamed person is still on administrative leave, and 11 workers have the chance to get their jobs back, only after more training and education. Dr. Richard Streck, the chief clinical operations officer, will also be retiring.

"We have also taken a case-by-case examination of the role of every colleague who was a part of the medication administration for the affected patients," said Lamb, "and the members of the management involved in oversight of those colleagues."

For families impacted, the news is perhaps a step towards accountability. "I think one of their main motivations in this case is to find out what happened," said attorney David Shroyer with Colley, Shroyer & Abraham. "So we've been told that people have been fired that people have resigned but so far there has been no indication as to what happened what policies and procedures were broken down."

Attorney Gerry Leeseberg said he doesn't think any of it will be enough given the number of lives lost, people, affected, and the grief that's been caused, but that it's part of what needed to happen. "Any institution's attitude begins at the top," Leeseberg said.

"I don't think any of this is going to be enough to account for the number of people, of lives lost and the families, the chaos and the grief that has been caused to the families by this," said attorney Gerry Leeseberg, of Leeseberg & Valentine, "but, it is certainly a part of what needed to be done. I mean, any institution's attitude begins at the top."

Through it all, a big question remains for the attorneys. "What was going on for these last four years? Why was nobody doing anything in the way of supervision?" said Leeseberg.

Both attorneys believe this could likely have a lasting impact on the medical field. "What's done today, in the next few months as far as getting the word out on this, is going to save lives 10 years from now, 15 years from now," said Shroyer, "because these policies and procedures work if they are implemented and if they are enforced."

Mount Carmel said in that statement that months were spent reviewing patient cases, coming to the conclusion that 35 people were impacted. They said they alerted authorities last December about the doses, and that they are deeply sorry for any grief or frustration caused. The attorneys said they are moving forward with the civil lawsuits.

Husel has pleaded not guilty to the murder counts. His lawyer has said Husel didn't intend to kill anyone and was providing comfort care to end-of-life patients.

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