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OPP lay three more first-degree murder charges against doctor in deaths at Hawkesbury hospital

Ottawa Citizen logo Ottawa Citizen 2022-08-18 Aedan Helmer
Files: Dr. Brian Nadler faces additional murder charges. © Provided by Ottawa Citizen Files: Dr. Brian Nadler faces additional murder charges.
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Lawyers for Dr. Brian Nadler say they will “vigorously” defend all charges against their client after he was arrested Wednesday and charged with three additional counts of first-degree murder, all involving elderly patients at the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.

Nadler, 36, an internal medicine specialist from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., was charged with first-degree murder in March 2021 following an Ontario Provincial Police investigation into the death of 89-year-old patient Albert Poidinger of Pointe-Claire, Que.

Officers with the Hawkesbury OPP detachment were first called to the hospital on March 25, 2021, to investigate the man’s death and said at the time that the investigation pointed to multiple suspicious deaths at the hospital where Nadler worked.

The doctor now faces new charges linked to the deaths of Claire Brière, 80, of Rigaud, Que., Lorraine Lalande, 79, of Hawkesbury, and Judith Lungulescu, 93, of East Hawkesbury Township, according to police.

“The allegations against Dr. Nadler will be vigorously defended,” lawyers Brian Greenspan, David Humphrey and Naomi Lutes said in a statement following Nadler’s court appearance Wednesday.

“All four patients died of COVID-19 and Dr. Nadler provided excellent palliative care. When the facts are fully presented, we are confident that he will be vindicated.”

Nadler appeared in L’Orignal court via video from the Hawkesbury OPP station, where he was released under the same bail conditions of his prior release, including a court-approved surety and $10,000 recognizance. He is to remain in Canada and must notify police of any change in address.

He is forbidden from practising medicine of any kind and is not to associate with any employees or patients of the Hawkesbury hospital or their relatives.

A spokesperson for the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) said the hospital was notified of the three new criminal charges on Wednesday and staff continued to co-operate with the investigation. HGH revoked Nadler’s hospital credentials after he was first charged in 2021.

“These charges relate to the deaths of three patients under his care,” the hospital acknowledged in a statement.

“HGH is fully collaborating with the OPP investigation and legal proceedings being initiated. Our immediate concern is for the families of the deceased patients, and we are committed to providing them with the appropriate care and support.”

HGH said in its statement that all services and programs remained fully operational and the hospital “assures the local population that patient care is delivered in a safe, secure and quality-oriented hospital environment.”

Nadler’s medical licence was suspended by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario shortly after he was first charged in 2021.

The Hawkesbury detachment’s crime unit was continuing to investigate under the direction of the force’s criminal investigation branch, the OPP said Wednesday.

With files from Megan Gillis

ahelmer@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/helmera

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