As Ebola continues to spread in Africa, the U.S. has been generally better prepared to deal with the virus. The first person to die from Ebola on American soil, however, was arguably a victim of medical malpractice.
In fact, his family has recently received a settlement from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where their loved one went to before eventually dying from Ebola symptoms.
After the patient sought help in the hospital's emergency room, medical staff delivered a misdiagnosis of sinusitis and released him. He later died from his worsened medical condition as the Ebola virus progressed. The family has argued that the fatal medical error resulted from negligence.
It is important to hold hospitals and medical professionals liable when serious mistakes are made. The failure to diagnose a patient suffering with a significant illness can be life-threatening, as exemplified in this Texas case. The alleged doctor error and hospital negligence clearly had fatal consequences.
Medical malpractice laws in Texas limit compensation for pain and suffering to $250,000 in the event of a trial. The undisclosed settlement in this Ebola case will be divided between the victim's four children and his parents; his fiancée is not considered a family member. They will also not have to pay medical expenses from the hospital.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical professional negligence, consult a legal professional for guidance. You may be able to file a medical malpractice personal injury case against the wrongful party.
Source: ABC 22 Now, "Thomas Eric Duncan's Family Receives a Confidential Settlement," Nov. 18, 2014