Prescription drugs sit on a pharmacist’s counter. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

BY: JAKE ZUCKERMAN and Ohio Capital Journal

Butler County, Ohio

An Ohio man whose wife sued a Cincinnati area hospital for refusing to provide him ivermectin as he was intubated due to COVID-19 has died, according to one of her attorneys.

Jeffrey Smith, 51, died Sept. 25, according to the family’s attorney, Jonathan Davidson.

While he was on a ventilator, Julie Smith filed a lawsuit against West Chester Hospital for refusing to honor a prescription of ivermectin written by a physician who founded a controversial group that champions the drug.

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic in humans and a dewormer in livestock. It has grown in popularity, egged on by conservative commentators and politicians, as a treatment and preventative against COVID-19. The CDC, Food and Drug Administration, American Medical Association, the drug’s manufacturer and more all warn against the drug’s use against COVID-19, given the lack of evidence to support the treatment and the risks the drug can pose to those who take it.

Neither Julie Smith nor her husband were vaccinated, she testified at a court hearing.

On Aug. 23, Julie Smith won an emergency judgement that forced the hospital to administer the ivermectin to her husband.

Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster reversed that ruling 13 days later. He said in a ruling, siding with expert witnesses from the hospital network who testified, the judgement isn’t a determination that ivermectin will never be proven effective against COVID-19.

“However, based upon the evidence, it has not been shown to be effective at this juncture,” he said. “The studies that tend to give support to ivermectin have had inconsistent results, limitations to the studies, were open label studies, were of low quality or low certainty, included small sample sizes, various dosing regiments, or have been so riddled with issues that the study was withdrawn.”

At the time, Ralph Lorigo, a New York attorney who has filed similar lawsuits around the country, claimed victory regardless. He cited purported indications that Jeffrey Smith’s condition was improving, and attributed this to the temporary dosing of the drug.

“This is a man who has been helped by the medication, and this is a judge who just doesn’t get it right,” Lorigo said.

Click here for more in-depth coverage of Julie Smith’s lawsuit. 

JAKE ZUCKERMAN is a statehouse reporter. He spent three years chronicling the West Virginia Legislature for The Charleston Gazette-Mail after covering cops and courts for The Northern Virginia Daily.