Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, the only patient to die of the disease in the United States, was sent home from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on Sept. 26, despite having a high fever and telling a nurse he had recently traveled from Africa. After Duncan’s eventual hospitalization death, this and other concerns about the Texas Health Presbyterian’s handling of his case were documented in an op-ed that his nephew wrote for the Dallas Morning News. Today comes word that the hospital has agreed to preempt a potential lawsuit by paying an undisclosed sum to Duncan’s family and creating a charitable foundation in his name. From the Associated Press:
Attorney Les Weisbrod declined to say at a news conference how much money the family would receive but said the settlement was a “very good deal” that would provide for Duncan’s parents and his four children. Weisbrod also said Presbyterian hospital was not charging Duncan’s family for his medical treatment. The foundation will assist efforts to fight Ebola in Liberia, he said.
Duncan’s nephew, Josephus Weeks, has previously been critical of the care Duncan received, saying his death was partly due to his race, nationality and lack of insurance. But on Wednesday, he credited Presbyterian’s officials for moving quickly to settle the case and acknowledge mistakes.
Weeks said he will be “the face of the foundation,” which he hopes will lead to a new hospital or the dedication of a hospital wing in Liberia.
The two nurses who were infected while treating Duncan, Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, have both recovered.