Family of first U.S. Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan and hospital reach settlement


DALLAS — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has reached an agreement with the family of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died in October at the medical facility, CBS Dallas reports.

The agreement comes after allegations of wrong-doing, protocols not being followed, and claims that the hospital did not do enough to protect the patient. It has been just over one month since the 42-year-old man from Africa lost his fight with Ebola.

Duncan's sister and nephew were present as the family's attorney announced a multi-faceted agreement, which included a financial settlement and a charitable contribution.

"This has been a tragic loss for the children and the parents," said attorney Les Weisbrod. "We're here today to announce a settlement that will take care of all the children and parents."

Weisbrod said the family's mission was to "raise awareness of preventable medical errors in the U.S." According to Weisbrod, there are approximately 400,000 preventable deaths in the U.S. each year.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Weisbrod says the deal is better than what could have been won by the family had the two sides gone to trial.

The hospital will also setup a charitable fund in memory of Duncan that will provide assistance to victims of Ebola in Africa.

The Duncan family also has expressed interest in a book or movie to highlight Duncan's life and tragic demise.

Duncan first arrived at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 25, complaining of Ebola symptoms. But he was sent away after a triage nurse did not effectively communicate his travel history. Duncan returned to the hospital's emergency room two days later, this time showing more serious symptoms. It was only then that he was considered to be a possible Ebola patient.

The hospital has already apologized to Duncan's family for the mistakes that were made, including the initial misdiagnosis.

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