While at present there are no known cases of Ebola being treated in the United States, few will likely soon forget the fear associated with the news of the first person being diagnosed with it, within the country’s borders. For many, sadness was added to that fear when several days later, news of that patient’s death broke.
Following the man’s death there was accusations by the man’s family and others that the hospital failed to provide the proper level of care. Specifically, his family took issue with the fact that the Liberian national, who had just been in his home country, was not kept at the hospital when he went to the hospital’s emergency room with symptoms of the deadly virus. Instead, despite the fact that he allegedly told health care workers who attended to him the first time her went to the hospital that he had recently been in West Africa, he was discharged. Two days later, he returned via ambulance and the diagnosis was made.
Less than two weeks later he was dead.
It was recently announced that the man’s family and the hospital had reached a settlement regarding the man’s treatment. Though the specifics of that settlement were not made public, a lawyer for the family indicated that they would not have to pay for the care the man received. In addition, the hospital admitted that mistakes had been made.
As this situation illustrates not every legal matter needs to be resolved in a court of law. Depending on the specifics surrounding the issue it is possible that reaching an agreement outside of court is the best possible outcome. In either situation it is usually advisable to work with a lawyer.
Source: Reuters, “Family of Dallas Ebola victim reaches settlement with hospital,” Lisa Maria Garza, Nov. 12, 2014