Ohio residents have likely heard about the scandal involving a doctor of the Mount Carmel Health System. The doctor, who was fired in December 2018, has been connected with the deaths of at least 34 patients in the intensive care unit over a five-year period. These patients were given a fatally high dosage of the opioid fentanyl at the doctor’s orders.
The families of 24 of the victims have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor and Mount Carmel as well as the nurses and pharmacists involved. So far, the hospital has paid out roughly $13.5 million in settling a number of these lawsuits. A criminal trial is to be held in June 2020 with jury selection beginning in May. The doctor faces 25 counts of murder and may face between 15 years and life imprisonment for each count.
The doctor and Mount Carmel had requested a pause on the lawsuits until the criminal case was resolved. A judge denied the request back in June, however, saying that the pause would have been indefinite and would not have served the public interest. The doctor’s attorney states that the defendant was only providing comfort care and did not intend to kill the patients.
How this case, one of the largest murder cases in Ohio, will end remains to be seen. Those who have lost a loved one to the negligence of a doctor, a driver, or maker of a defective product may want to see an attorney who works in wrongful death law. Wrongful death suits can end in high settlements, but plaintiffs are bound to meet lots of opposition before achieving them. This is where an attorney may be especially helpful. As a last resort, the attorney may prepare the case for a trial.