- - Friday, November 14, 2014

America is becoming a nation of French soldiers. The motto of the French Army is “surrender early and surrender often.” The only requirement is to do so with style.

Americans now manage to surrender early and often, just like the French, but with less style.

This week witnessed yet another milestone in the transformation of America from a gung-ho nation that would fight on principle to just another group of people who would rather surrender than fight.

A few weeks ago, Thomas Eric Duncan came to America. The Liberian native did not come alone. He brought Ebola with him.

Duncan fled his native Liberia when he believed he had become infected. He came to America and lied to officials for one reason. He wanted American medical care.

And he got American medical care.

He went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. At first he showed up with a low fever and was told to go back home. Later he came back with full-fledged Ebola. Eventually, he died.

The race grievance industry immediately cranked up, blaming Duncan’s death on “racism.” Duncan’s family threatened a lawsuit and this week the hospital settled. They agreed they would pay for Duncan’s care, give his family an undisclosed amount of money and create a charity that would be partially controlled by Duncan’s family. And there was the obligatory apology so the grievance industry could be satisfied.

This is the wimpy America of the 21st century.

Texas Health Presbyterian should have told the family not only no, but hell no.

Texas enacted tort reform. Since then, medical malpractice suits have become much harder to prove. There is a statutory cap of $250,000 on pain and suffering and emergency room doctors have increased protection. In order to win a medical malpractice suit against the emergency room doctors, Duncan’s family would have had to prove the staff acted with “willful and wonton” negligence. That is an almost impossible burden to meet.

Perhaps the hospital should have reminded the family of this Ebola carrier that he endangered hundreds of Americans when he came here.

If they wanted to sue, the hospital should have said fine. They should have turned around and sued his estate for the cost of his medical care. Reports have indicated that was in excess of $500,000. The hospital was also forced to take extra measures because of Duncan. Two employees were infected and either the hospital or its insurer paid for their care.

All the leaders of that hospital had to do was say no. The odds of a lawyer actually filing suit would have been remote. Even if they could have prevailed on the malpractice claim, the counter claims for the medical bills and other expenses would have nullified any damages a jury would have awarded.

In short, the lawyer would not have gotten paid for that litigation so the suit would have never been filed.

The leaders of that hospital should have shown some courage and said, “We will stand and fight.”

But instead, they surrendered faster than a French Army and certainly with less style.

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