New Jersey — Lawyers for Gov. Chris Christie and state health officials requested that the judge throw out a lawsuit from Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined after returning from Sierra Leone where she had been in contact with Ebola-infected patients in 2014.
Attorneys for the Government officials said that they are immune from lawsuits regarding public health quarantines.
"As a nurse, Ms. Hickox acted in the best traditions of her profession by volunteering to treat Ebola-infected patients in Sierra Leone," the state wrote. "But on her return to the U.S., four separate readings revealed that she had an elevated temperature. Public health officials, acting in the same best traditions of their profession, properly had her quarantined."
Ebola is spread through direct contact with an infected person who is exhibiting signs and symptoms of the disease.
A New York law firm and The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey sued on behalf of Hickox. She was working for Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone when she was exposed to Ebola. Upon her return to the United States via Newark Liberty International Airport, she was questioned by security and sent to a tent outside a hospital in Newark, NJ, against her will.
According to Hickox, Christie made the decision to quarantine her for political reasons. Hickox is seeking compensation amounting to at least $250,000, and she hopes that the suit will change the policy for guaranteeing individuals based on political gain rather than public health concerns.
Hickox claims that she was treated like a criminal and spoken to aggressively. Even though she was afebrile when they initially obtained her temperature with a temporal scanner, they informed her that she did have a fever. She claims she was just "flushed" from the stress of it all. Still she was escorted by police to the hospital, with lights and sirens sounding.
Although she tested negative on two occasions for Ebola, they still kept her quarantined for another two days.
according to the state, the primary objective of the government officials is "safety and general welfare." of the public.