Simmons and Fletcher, P.C.

Two Texas Nurses Infected with Ebola Can Hold Hospital Accountable for Negligence

If Presbyterian Hospital is Non-Subscriber they Can Sue for Untold Amount


Houston, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/20/2014 --The two nurses who treated Thomas Duncan before he died at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas may be eligible to sue their employer for negligent damages. If Presbyterian Hospital does not subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance, the amount the workers can recover has no cap.

If Presbyterian Hospital does subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance, the two (and their families) can still recover financial damages for pain and suffering but only a very small amount. The healthcare workers are suspected to have contracted ebola because of what one nurse has described as “lack of training and proper safety equipment”, although the CDC originally blamed a “breach in protocol” for the spread of the disease to caregivers. More on employer negligence from improper training here:

However, staunch opposition continues to rise against the statements originally given my the US CDC Director Thomas Frieden. Frieden has since retracted his statement, amid allegations by National Nurses United and other organizations that placing blame on the victim is simply scapegoating a problem that needs a real solution.

Texas is unique in its laws regarding workers’ compensation benefits; private companies can choose whether to protect themselves against lawsuits by providing workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. If they choose to subscribe to workers’ compensation for employees, the amount an employee can recover for negligence damages in a lawsuit is meager. However, if the company is a non-subscriber the financial recovery amount is limitless.

So far, two nurses who treated Thomas Duncan have fallen ill with the ebola virus: Nina Pham and Amber Vinson. A third nurse who treated Thomas Duncan has put herself in self-imposed isolation while onboard a Caribbean cruise.

None of the infected healthcare workers have reported filing any lawsuits yet.