Ebola Nurse Nina Pham Settles Lawsuit with Dallas Hospital

October 24, 2016, 11:16 PM UTC
President Obama Meets With Dallas Nurse Nina Pham After Her Release From NIH
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: U.S. President Barack Obama gives a hug to Dallas nurse Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House October 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Pham, a nurse who was infected with Ebola from treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and was first diagnosed on October 12, was declared free of the virus on Friday. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
Photograph by Pool—via Getty Images

Nurse Nina Pham, who many have come to know as the Ebola nurse, has finally settled a lawsuit with her employer’s parent company.

Pham’s lawyers and Texas Health Resources, which owns the Dallas hospital where she worked, made a joint statement to announce the settlement, NBC reports. But they declined to reveal the exact terms.

Pham caught the Ebola virus from Thomas Eric Duncan, who was the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with Ebola in 2014. Duncan was diagnosed after returning home from a trip to his native Liberia, one of the epicenters of the outbreak. He died in October despite receiving experimental treatments to fight the virus, and the two nurses who were treating him at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were infected as a result.

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Pham eventually recovered after emergency treatment at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and once she was declared Ebola-free in October 2014, she got a visit from (and a hug) President Barack Obama himself.

However, Pham sued her employer’s parent company, Texas Health Resources, over what she says are inadequate health safety protocols. Her suit alleged that supervisors merely printed out Internet materials as precautionary guidelines for treating suspected Ebola patients, and that the organization “wholly failed to ensure that appropriate policies, procedures, and equipment were in place.” Health workers reportedly didn’t receive proper hazmat garments or training, and Pham was told she had no risk of contracting Ebola just days before her diagnosis.


Pham wasn’t alone in her grievances during the worst of the panic surrounding Ebola, which wound up never becoming a widespread public health threat in America: National Nurses United, the largest registered nurses’ union in the country, organized nationwide protests in 2014 to call on Congress and the Obama administration to beef up and clarify safety guidelines for treating Ebola. The World Health Organization didn’t declare the Ebola epidemic in Africa to be officially over until this January.

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