Nina Pham, a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola in 2014, has reached a settlement in her lawsuit against Texas Health Resources, according to a joint statement released by both parties Monday.
“Texas Health Resources and Ms. Pham have resolved the pending lawsuit, and wish the best for each other going forward,” the statement said. “All parties have agreed the terms of the resolution are confidential and will not make additional statements or grant media interviews.”
Pham, a Fort Worth native, was working as an intensive care nurse at the Dallas hospital in 2014 when she cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted Ebola in Liberia. Duncan died at the hospital of the virus.
Pham and another nurse, Amber Vinson, contracted Ebola but survived.
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In her lawsuit against Texas Health Resources, which owns Presbyterian Hospital, Pham alleged that “the sum total” of information she was given to protect herself was “what her manager Googled and printed out from the Internet, among other allegations.
At the time, Pham said she felt she had to file suit, according to a statement released through her lawyers.
“I was hoping that THR would be more open and honest about everything that happened at the hospital, and the things they didn't do that led to me getting infected with Ebola,” she said.
According to the lawsuit, nurses received no formal guidance or training on personal protective gear needed around an Ebola patient. Clear dropcloths were taped to the ceiling and walls to create a containment area, the lawsuit says. Nurses who were not trained to dispose of hazardous waste had to dispose of it, and hazardous material piled up in the room next to Duncan’s, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says the first day Pham treated Duncan she wore only a regular isolation gown, double gloves, double booties and a surgical mask with a plastic shield. The guidelines for caring for an Ebola patient call for hazmat suits and specific procedures for putting them on and taking them off.
Pham also has said she is concerned about her long-term health and doubts she will ever return to work as a critical care nurse. The Dallas Morning News has reported she has remained on THR’s payroll.
The hospital generally denied the allegations and had sought dismissal of the case, saying Pham should file a worker’s compensation claim.
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives.