Ebola Nurse Settles Case Against Texas Hospital

     DALLAS (CN) – A Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola from the first domestic case of the virus settled her lawsuit against her employer before trial on Monday.
     In a joint statement, Nina Pham and Texas Health Resources told Courthouse News they “have resolved the pending lawsuit, and wish the best for each other going forward.”
     Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
     “All parties have agreed the terms of the resolution are confidential and will not make additional statements or grant media interviews,” the parties said.
     Pham sued Texas Health Resources in March 2015 in county court for negligence, misrepresentation, breach of privacy and misrepresentation. She said she was not properly trained or given proper protective equipment when she cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, of Liberia, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas in October 2014.
     She tested positive for Ebola three days after Duncan died from the disease.
     Duncan’s case set off a month-long public health crisis in North Texas that involved the monitoring of over 100 possible contacts, sterilization of several locations and school closures. A second nurse, Amber Vinson, also tested positive for the disease.
     Vinson was transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Pham to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, where they both recovered and were issued clean bills of health.
     Pham claimed that she was used a “PR pawn,” that a widely shared video of her in a hospital bed at Presbyterian was released without her permission. She said the hospital ignored her request to release no information about her when she became ill.
     Pham has publicly stated her anxiety over the long-term effects of Ebola and the experimental treatments she took, noting her hair has been falling out and she’s not sure she can have children.
     Texas Health Resources had denied Pham’s claims, arguing they are subject to workers’ compensation laws because the Ebola exposure happened at work. The trial court had issued an injunction preventing the hospital and Texas Health Resources from adjudicating whether they are co-employers in the case, but the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed the injunction in August.
     Pham’s case was scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 18, but was delayed for several days because an earlier trial in the same court ran longer than scheduled.

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