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Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Sues Hospital’s Parent Company

On Oct. 8, 2014, Thomas Eric Duncan died at Texas Health Presbyterian North Dallas hospital. Duncan’s death made world news as he became the first individual on U.S. soil to die of the deadly and feared Ebola virus. While a patient at the hospital, Duncan was treated and cared for by a team of critical care nurses that included 26-year-old Nina Pham.

Pham, along with one other nurse who cared for Duncan, ended up contracting the deadly virus. While Pham was lucky to survive, her health has been negatively impacted and her life turned up-side-down. More recently, Pham filed a lawsuit against her employer’s parent company Texas Health Resources in which she asserts the defendant committed numerous acts of negligence.

Included in Pham’s lawsuit are claims that THR was negligent in failing to adequately prepare or train health care professionals on how to treat the patient or protect against contracting Ebola. To support this claim, Pham contends that the only training she received after learning she would be caring for Duncan was a printout on Ebola that her manager obtained via a Google search.

Consequently, Pham and her fellow nurses did not have proper protective gear or a way to safety dispose of hazardous waste material that very likely carried Ebola. Pham cites THR’s negligent actions in contributing to her contracting the deadly virus.

Additionally, the lawsuit details several other disturbing and egregious acts of corporate and hospital negligence including that Pham’s employer released her name and false information about her health to the public despite her wishes to remain anonymous. Also a video recording, which appeared on numerous worldwide media sources, taken during Pham’s transfer to another health care facility was taped secretly and without Pham’s consent.

Today, Pham still suffers great physical and mental pain as a result of her battle against Ebola. She is concerned about the toll the virus took on her body as well as the long-term health implications of the virus. She is seeking to recover an unspecified amount of damages.

Source: Yahoo News, “Ebola survivor Nina Pham alleges Texas hospital lied, used her,” Jason Sickles, March 2, 2015

Dallas Morning News, “Free of Ebola but not fear,” Jennifer Emily, Feb. 28, 2015

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