What to do if I work at a nursing home and an RN did not follow proper disease control guidelines with a resident who had shingles, so now I have the chickenpox?

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What to do if I work at a nursing home and an RN did not follow proper disease control guidelines with a resident who had shingles, so now I have the chickenpox?

Asked on October 16, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

IF you contracted chickenpox due to the negligence (carelessness) of a nursing home employee, then in theory, they would be liable for your illness. However, there  are a number of problems with such a claim:

1) You'd have to prove that you contracted chickenpox due to the failure to follow the guidelines--the courts will not simply assume it is so--which may be more difficult than you think.

2) Even if you can prove the above, you could only recover an amount of compensation equal to your out-of-pocket medical costs and your lost wages (if any); chickenpox is not severe enough to warrant "pain and suffering" recovery. This amount of money may not be worth the cost and effort of a lawsuit.


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