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US hospital to pay relatives of Liberian who died of Ebola

IANS 14 Nov 2014, 8:42:41 AM IST

Austin, Texas: The hospital in the US where Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan died of Ebola has reached an agreement to pay an indemnity to his relatives because he was not diagnosed at first with the disease that later proved fatal.

Although the size of the payment was not disclosed, the family's attorney, Les Weisbrod, said that it is a "very good deal".

In addition to the indemnity, the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas will create a fund bearing the name of Duncan, the only patient to die of Ebola in the US to date, to fight Ebola in Africa.

To reach the agreement, Duncan's relatives had to acknowledge that the medical attention he received "was excellent", according to the communique issued by the hospital.

That declaration contradicts earlier claims of relatives, who had complained that Duncan's death was caused, in part, by his race, his nationality and because he did not have medical insurance.

Duncan arrived in the US from Liberia Sep 20 to marry the mother of his son and begin a new life in this country.

On Sep 25, however, he went to the hospital with a fever and abdominal pains, but the doctors there sent him home with antibiotics without taking into account that he had come from West Africa, where the Ebola epidemic has taken more than 5,000 lives.

Duncan returned to the hospital three days later, whereupon he was quarantined and diagnosed with Ebola.