Nina Pham made headlines when she contracted Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient to die from the disease in the U.S., in a Dallas hospital. Now Pham is suing the same Dallas hospital, saying they are negligent and responsible for her getting the disease.
According to a report from CBS News, Nina Pham will file her lawsuit on Monday morning in Dallas County against Texas Health Resources. She says she suffers lingering effects of Ebola, including body aches and insomnia. She cared for Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
Nina Pham believes she was “a symbol of corporate neglect–a casualty of a hospital system’s failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis.” She cites both the hospital’s lack of training and proper equipment, as well as violations of her privacy as reasons she contracted the disease. She also believes the hospital ‘failed to develop policies and train its staff for treating Ebola patients.’
When nurses including Nina Pham treated Thomas Eric Duncan, they didn’t have the needed protective gear on hand, Pham alleges.
“I was the last person besides Mr. Duncan to find out he was positive,” she said. “You’d think the primary nurse would be the first to know.”
— USA TODAY Health (@USATODAYhealth) March 2, 2015
Charla Aldous is the attorney representing Nina Pham. She says Texas Health Resources “used Nina as a PR pawn.”
“Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time. We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter,” Wendell Watson, a spokesman for Texas Health Resources, said. He declined to address anything regarding Nina Pham’s lawsuit.
Pham wants unspecified damages for physical pain and mental anguish suffered as a result of contracting Ebola, as well as medical expenses and loss of future earnings. She also wants to “make hospitals and big corporations realize that nurses and health care workers, especially front line people, are important. And we don’t want nurses to start turning into patients.”
Nina Pham worked alongside another nurse from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who also contracted Ebola. It will be interesting to see if that nurse, Amber Vinson, opts to file a lawsuit as well.