Virginia: Special Cases – a Lawyer’s Ebola

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Washington Lawyer is the official magazine of the District of Columbia (“DC”) Bar. Its issue for April, 2015, is entitled – and features the lead article entitled – “INFECTIOUS DISEASE OUTBREAK RESPONSE”. Id. at Cover and 20-27.

“[D]espite knowing that Ebola would likely find its way here, the public health system was ill-prepared to fight the disease.” Id. at 21. “It was caught napping….” Id.

“[The public health system didn’t] do a good job of risk communication, first and foremost, whether it was overconfidence about containing Ebola or overconfidence about how ‘easy’ it would be for hospitals to manage Ebola in the U.S. setting.” Id. at 23. “[Our laws] need to be applied with consideration as to what is the most efficacious way of handling each situation, no matter who is making the decisions.” Id. at 24.

Obviously, tort liability for personal injury and wrongful death follows healthcare providers failing to warn, protect, etc. appropriately against Ebola (and any future contagion). Mr. Waterman has been an active member of the DC Bar for two decades.