When the Ebola crisis hit Texas in 2014, people feared for themselves and their families. Health was of top concern in the nation. It didn’t cross many people’s minds, if any, that they would also need to worry about their businesses or financial standing. However, after a nurse who treated the first U.S. Ebola patient visited a bridal shop in Ohio was then diagnosed with Ebola herself, the bridal shop was forced to temporarily close for a thorough sanitization.
The temporary close, however, made a lasting impact on the community and shoppers. The first U.S. Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was diagnosed in September of 2014 and died in October of 2014. After nurse, Amber Vinson, had helped treat Mr. Duncan in Texas she flew to Ohio where she visited Coming Attractions Bridal and Formal, Inc. Prior to her trip she was given clearance to fly after numerous requests about her temperature and health, she says. However, when Mrs. Vinson returned to Texas she was diagnosed with Ebola. Ebola virus prevents patients from taking any uncontrolled movement. This includes public transportation.
After Coming Attractions Bridal and Formal, Inc. was mandated a temporary closure in 2014, things were not the same for the shop. They closed their doors for good in January of 2015 after their business had coined the name “the Ebola store”. The change in perspective of shoppers made the owners upset; and in October 2016, the owners filed for a medical malpractice claim.
At first this may seem outrageous. However, their stance is that an Ebola-exposed person should not have been able to fly, just as an Ebola patient would not have been allowed to board a plane. They believe that it is the fault of Texas Health Resources for not being better prepared, which would have avoided their temporary closure altogether.
As of May 16th, the Texas Court of Appeals has overturned the trial court decision. Coming Attractions Bridal and Formal, Inc. is not accepting defeat, though. They have until June to take the case to the Texas Supreme Court. At first glance, it seems unlikely that a bridal shop will be granted the $1 Million it is asking for. However, a medical malpractice case is not strictly bound to humans. Under the Texas Medical Liability Act, an entity may also file. An entity may be a business or corporation.
Even before this case is closed, it forces us to rethink the way we view medical malpractice. Where do we draw the line? A claim may be filed on behalf of entire corporation. That opens the doors for a lot of discrepancy, and also flaws.
If you have a question about medical malpractice or would like guidance on your own case, call us today (505) 388-0066 for a free consultation. Buckingham & Vega will represent you and your family as our own.