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Texas Hospital Sued Over Ebola Training Seeks Dismissal Of The Lawsuit

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 18:  The exterior of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital as ambulances continue to be diverted from its emergency room 'because of limitations in staffed capacity,' according to the hospital October 18, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. The diversion was put into place October 12 after one of the hospital's nurses who was part of a team of healthcare workers that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who was the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, also contracted the virus. A second nurse also contracted Ebola while treating Duncan at the hospital.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 18: The exterior of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital as ambulances continue to be diverted from its emergency room 'because of limitations in staffed capacity,' according to the hospital October 18, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. The diversion was put into place October 12 after one of the hospital's nurses who was part of a team of healthcare workers that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who was the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, also contracted the virus. A second nurse also contracted Ebola while treating Duncan at the hospital. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) — A hospital operator denied allegations of poor training and improper preparation in seeking dismissal of a lawsuit by a nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for the first U.S. patient to succumb to the deadly disease.

Texas Health Resources filed a response Friday to the March 2 lawsuit by nurse Nina Pham, The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/1GcgoEy ).

Pham, who remains employed at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas but has not returned to work, seeks unspecified damages in her lawsuit.

A man visiting Dallas from Liberia, Thomas Eric Duncan, died Oct. 8 at the hospital. Pham and another nurse caring for Duncan contracted Ebola but survived.

Texas Health Resources spokesman Wendell Watson, in a statement Friday, said the company and the hospital acted responsibly to protect their employees, basing their responses on the most up-to-date federal guidelines and with leading experts at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

The hospital also respected Pham's privacy and acted only with her consent, the statement said. A doctor on Oct. 16 videotaped Pham, who was in a hospital bed, in images later made public.

"Nina Pham has gone through the unprecedented challenge of being the first nurse to whom the Ebola virus was transmitted while caring for a patient with Ebola in the U.S.," the statement said. "Our care and compassion for Nina is paramount, and we will continue to show her the utmost courtesy, dignity and respect as a member of the Texas Health family."

Since Pham contracted the disease while working for the hospital as an intensive care nurse, her remedy should be a worker's compensation claim, not in civil court, the hospital's response said.

"I am disappointed but not surprised about the answer THR filed," said Pham's attorney, Charla Aldous. "My hope was that they would come clean and be honest about what happened so that the health care community can learn from the mistakes made."

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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