US hospital pays settlement to Ebola victim’s family

Houston, Nov 13:

The family of the only Ebola patient who died in the US has reached a quick settlement with the hospital that treated him for an undisclosed amount of money, media reported.

ebolaAttorneys representing Thomas Eric Duncan’s family Wednesday announced that the settlement averted a potential malpractice lawsuit against Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where Duncan received his treatment until his death Oct 8, Xinhua reported.

The attorneys did not disclose how much exactly Duncan’s family would get, but said the settlement was a “very good deal”. They also indicated that the sum was more than the family would have won in court because of constraints in Texas law.

The law caps damages for pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship at $250,000, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The hospital will also waive Duncan’s medical expenses and set up a charitable foundation in his name to help Ebola patients in West Africa.

Duncan’s family members initially alleged he did not get proper treatment at the hospital because of his race, nationality and an apparent misdiagnosis.

The Liberian man visited the Dallas hospital twice before being confirmed with the deadly virus. During his first visit, the hospital did not treat him as a suspected Ebola patient and sent him away with some antibiotics, even after the patient told a nurse he was from West Africa.

The alleged negligence from the hospital has sparked outcries across the country. The hospital authorities, where two nurses contracted the virus from Duncan, have apologised for the mistake on many an occasion.

But they insisted they had gone all out to save the man’s life. Medical records later do show nearly 100 hospital staffers were involved in treating Duncan.

Duncan’s nephew, Josephus Weeks, once the most vocal critic of the hospital, praised the hospital Wednesday at a news conference to announce the settlement.

“I believe this facility is an outstanding facility,” said Weeks. “But we as humans are not perfect. We make errors. But it’s how you recover from your errors that makes you who you are.”

The hospital also released a statement later in the day to confirm the settlement. “We are grateful to reach this point of reconciliation and healing for all involved,” the statement read.


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