William Husel was indicted in June on 25 counts of murder, but the Ohio doctor is hitting back with a lawsuit against his former employer. In his defamation lawsuit against Mount Carmel Health System and its parent organization, Trinity Health Corp., Husel says the 25 patients in question died as a result of their illnesses, not because of the fentanyl he ordered for them. The suit also claims Husel, who was hired as a critical care physician in 2013 and won "doctor of the year" in 2014, was never formally trained by Mount Carmel on hospital procedures and did not deviate from the hospital's end-of-life care policy. Per WOSU, the suit says statements made by the organizations "conflict with all eye-witness accounts, all scientific evidence, and all scientific and medical literature." Husel, who pleaded not guilty, is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, the AP reports.
"It would not be an exaggeration to state that Dr. Husel has suffered perhaps the most egregious case of defamation in Ohio's recent history," the lawsuit states. But Mount Carmel and Trinity Health say "an extensive review of patient care provided by" Husel was completed and that officials "stand by our decisions." Mount Carmel previously said Husel was found to have ordered "significantly excessive and potentially fatal" painkiller doses for dozens of patients who were near death; more than two dozen lawsuits have been filed alleging Husel hastened patients' deaths. But Husel's suit says he simply started upping the doses when he saw that patients were in pain after families decided to remove life support, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The hospital system fired him and 23 other employees who were involved in delivering and administering the meds. (Read more doctors stories.)