(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Is Ebola Too Big of Risk For The Nation's Workers' Compensation System?

Ebola is a major risk of a generational epidemic of a potential compensable disease. The risk/loss is so immense that the US Government is apt to have already starting to plan to spread the risk through Federal legislation.

In the past, with anthrax/smallpox, the Federal government put in place a contingency system to avoid an economic collapse of the Insurance Industry. "The federal government established a no-fault program entitled the Smallpox Emergency Personnel Protection Act of 2003 (SEPPA) in an effort to provide benefits and/or compensation to certain individuals, including health-care workers and emergency responders, who are injured as a result of the administration of smallpox countermeasures including the smallpox (vaccinia) vaccine. SEPPA also provides benefits and/or compensation to certain individuals who are injured through the result of accidental vaccinia inoculation through contact. 42 U.S.C.A. § 239 " 38 NJ PRAC §1.25, Gelman, (West Publishing 2014).

CDC Statement 10/12/2014
"Texas Patient Tests Positive for Ebola

A health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the Ebola patient hospitalized there has tested positive for Ebola in a preliminary test at the state public health laboratory in Austin. Confirmatory testing will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The health care worker reported a low grade fever Friday night and was isolated and referred for testing. The preliminary ​test result was received late Saturday.

"We knew a second case could be a reality, and we've been preparing for this possibility," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. "We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread."

Health officials have interviewed the patient and are identifying any contacts or potential exposures. People who had contact with the health care worker after symptoms emerged will be monitored based on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects such as needles. People are not contagious before symptoms such as fever develop."


Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.