Friday, July 13, 2007

TB-infected man sued by plane passengers

Seriously! This is unbelievable. His father-in-law is a TB expert, so you'd think he'd know better than to go flying all over with his medical condition. AND he's a personal injuries lawyer, from one of the most litigious societies in the world, so you'd think he'd realize that he'd get sued if people found out that he put them at risk of catching his extremely drug resistant TB. I hope this serves as an example for other selfish contagious people to stay home and keep their cooties to themselves.

8 Canadians who took same flight claim distress, financial losses

Jul 13, 2007 04:30 AM
Megan Ogilvie
Health Reporter

Eight Canadians who took the same flight as a TB-infected American lawyer launched lawsuits yesterday against the man, claiming financial losses and emotional and psychological distress.

One passenger, a 72-year-old Montreal man, has tested positive for tuberculosis, said the plaintiffs' lawyer An-Lac Nguyen. He cautioned that the diagnosis is not definitive and said it is not clear if the man got the infection on the plane.

The other passengers are being monitored by local public health authorities and are still waiting to hear whether they contracted TB.

Andrew Speaker ignited an international health scare in May when he flew from Prague to Montreal, despite warnings from health officials that he had a deadly form of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

"All of the plaintiffs feel their lives have been gravely affected by this event," said Nguyen, who filed nine civil suits in Quebec Superior Court on behalf of the eight passengers and one family member who lives with a plaintiff but was not on the flight. The two Ottawa residents, two Czech citizens and five Montrealers are seeking a total of $1.38 million in damages. Nguyen, a partner at the Montreal firm Nachar Nguyen, said he expects more plaintiffs to come forward.

The elderly passenger who tested positive for tuberculosis has had to isolate himself from his family and friends while he waits for further tests at the end of the month, said Nguyen. Even though the TB skin test is not 100 per cent reliable and the result may be a false positive, Nguyen said the man has not been allowed to see his children or grandchildren in two months.

Nissam Tabri, 26, was seated one row in front of Speaker on the May 24 flight. The Montreal graduate student said he has spent the past two months in a state of anxiety.

"I believe that Andrew Speaker's negligent, reckless and selfish behaviour cannot go unpunished," he told the Star. "It was extremely dangerous what he did. He knew that he was on the no-fly list," and he flew despite that, Tabri said. Doctors have told Tabri, who is to have a final TB test at the end of the month, that he has one chance in 1,000 of getting tuberculosis. Tabri is seeking $142,000 in damages and his twin brother, who he lives with, has also filed a suit against Speaker.

After getting married in Greece and honeymooning in Rome, Speaker, a personal injuries lawyer, was told not to fly back to his hometown of Atlanta because he could infect fellow passengers. But he decided to dodge health officials by flying into Canada.

Last week, officials said Speaker, who is being treated at a Denver facility, has a less deadly strain of TB than previously thought. While saying it's too early for final conclusions, Public Health Agency of Canada officials say no active TB cases have been seen in the 29 passengers who sat within two rows of Speaker.

1 comment:

Miss Ash said...

What an idiot, seriously!!