Let’s say you just got back from a holiday in Liberia, where, unbeknownst to you, you caught Ebola. You turn yourself into your local hospital with stomach pain and a fever. You even mention that you just got back from Liberia. Let’s say the hospital ER folks – unsuspecting of Ebola — prescribe painkillers and antibiotics and send you on your way. Let’s say you end up dying a horrendous death, and that, if the Ebola had been properly and timely treated, you probably would have survived. Let’s also say that you contaminated your entire family, and some friends and associates, who either died or survived the harrowing illness. Oh, and let’s also say the hospital failed to provide the nurses who treated you with proper Ebola protective outfits, and they got Ebola, too.
Who can sue the hospital? The answers might surprise you.
THE NURSES: In New York, the nurses can’t sue because they are barred by workers’ compensation law from suing their employer. All they get is workers’ compensation benefits. That’s 60% of lost wages. In the case of death, their family gets a measly $50,000 in workers’ compensation benefits. No compensation for pain, suffering, grief.