COLUMBUS, Ohio — Larry Brigner, a 70-year-old Vietnam War veteran was a patient at Mt. Carmel West after a battle with brain cancer, died not from his illness but a large dose of fentanyl ordered by Dr. William Husel, lawyers said Tuesday as they filed a wrongful death lawsuit on his family's behalf.
Brigner was the 17th patient identified by attorneys who was allegedly prescribed a potentially fatal dose of fentanyl while at Mt. Carmel West. The hospital said they've found 34 patients who were given excessive doses of pain medication, but did not release their names.
"He was five days shy of his 71st birthday. Larry had battled a very aggressive form of cancer brain cancer known as a glioblastoma," said attorney Craig Tuttle of Leeseberg & Valentine.
Tuttle says Brigner died in December 2017 at Mount Carmel West, just hours before the very first patient identified in this case.
"Janet Kavanaugh passed away the morning of December 11, 2017," said Tuttle. "On that same shift the night before, the same doctor, same nurse, same pharmacist, did this to someone else."
Tuttle said Brigner's family agreed to take him off life support, and Tuttle claims after that, Brigner was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl.
"Larry was a Vietnam vet, tough guy, didn't like pain medicine, dealt with his cancer with a lot of courage, a lot of dignity, and ultimately suffered about the most undignified death that you could suffer," said Tuttle, "that was really her reaction, 'how dare they do this to him?' After all he fought both for our country and for his own life."
The firm also said they filed lawsuits on behalf of the families of patients James "Nick" Timmons and Tim Fitzpatrick. They are also investigating other cases. "We received additional medical records on five additional patients, clients of ours, so our staff, nursing staff and lawyers are digging through those," he said.
All this as attorneys for other families are submitting more names in their wrongful death lawsuits, like two nurses and a pharmacist in the Jan Thomas case.
"We know there are three more names that were involved in the administration of 800 micrograms of fentanyl, which our experts tell us is a deadly dose," said attorney David Shroyer, of Colley, Shroyer & Abraham.
Marriage records out of North Carolina show one of the nurses now named in that suit on behalf of Jan Thomas's family is married to William Husel. Records show Mariah Baird and Husel are married but were not at the time of Thomas's death in 2015. Their relationship at the time is unclear.
ABC6/FOX28 went to addresses listed in that wrongful death suit, but no one answered those door knocks.
Court documents show Husel's legal team filed motions on Tuesday to postpone him being deposed until after a possible criminal investigation. One attorney for Husel said no response at this time, and the attorney listed in those filings has not yet answered calls or an email.