Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Sues Hospital

Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Sues Hospital

Nina Pham, the nurse at a Texas hospital who was the first person in the U.S. to contract the deadly Ebola virus, is now suing her employer – a Texas hospital company – over the ordeal and its lingering effects.

Pham, whose lawsuit against Texas Health Resources Hospital makes allegations of negligence, deception and invasion of privacy, says she has had ongoing health problems even since being cured of the disease, with which she was diagnosed in mid-October of last year.

Our Palm Beach and Broward County personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg know that employers – whether they be construction companies or law firms, restaurants or hospitals, etc. – have a duty to ensure and provide a safe workplace environment for their employees. When they fail to meet the legal standard for said duty, and an employee is harmed as a result, the employer opens itself up to litigation. This seems to be what has happened here.

Indeed, Ebola has ravaged a significant portion of Western Africa, leading to the quick deaths of thousands of individuals. One would think that in the most advanced medical centers in the world, right here in the United States, one would be safe from contracting a disease the hospitals are dedicated to curing. Alas, one would be wrong.

The lawsuit filed by Pham and her attorney alleges that Pham was left to decide, on her own, what protective equipment to wear and how to don, wear and remove the equipment. From the rudimentary research she conducted on the Internet, on the first day that Pham cared for Thomas Duncan – the man who was (unsuccessfully) treated in a Texas hospital for Ebola – Nina put on a regular isolation gown which covered her front and back, a mask and double booties. Notably, this equipment, while seemingly comprehensive, left her neck and hair exposed.

According to Ms. Pham, she was not even provided disposable scrubs or a change of clothes. As such, she was forced to wear the scrubs she wore that first day when she left, taking the possibly Ebola-tainted clothing out of the hospital and into her home.

A nurse at a hospital, when dealing with a bewildering and exceedingly difficult-to-treat disease such as Ebola, should not have been placed in the predicament that Ms. Pham was forced into. The hospital, whose parent company is the target of the lawsuit, should have done more to protect their employee, who was doing all she could to save the life of one of the hospital’s patients.

During the first few months after contracting the Ebola virus, Ms. Pham began to experience hair loss, body aches and insomnia. Once officially diagnosed with the disease, she was hospitalized in isolation for weeks until declared free of Ebola. Although she was released from the hospital and despite becoming a symbol of the American fight against Ebola, Ms. Pham still continues to struggle from the disease’s effects. In addition to risking her very livelihood, her employer allowed her to contract a deadly disease from which she still suffers body and joint aches and fatigue.

If you have any question about this lawsuit, or if you’ve been injured or harmed due to the wrongdoing or negligence of an employer, please contact our Palm Beach and Broward County personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at to schedule a consultation at no cost or obligation. We look forward to assisting you.

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