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Woman On Flight With North Texas Ebola Patient Plans To Sue

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - She lived in fear she had contracted the Ebola virus. Now a North Texas woman, on the same flight as infected nurse Amber Vinson, says Texas Health Resources should have done more.

The lawyer for the Irving woman plans to file a lawsuit against the health care company.

Attorneys for airline passenger Elaine Golz say Texas Health administrators should never have let Vinson get on a plane and travel to Ohio. They're claiming negligence and say an innocent woman now has to live with the repercussions.

Golz says it's a stigma she can't shake. "Honestly, the word I would use is leper."

Golz explained that she had come to North Texas to start a new healthcare career and had only been in Dallas a few months when she was told there was a chance she had contracted Ebola.

"No one told me what I needed to do or where to go," she said as her voice began to crack. "No one knew what to do."

Golz had flown to Cleveland after her grandfather passed away. Her flight back was the same Frontier Airlines flight that undiagnosed Ebola Amber Vinson was on, heading back to Dallas.

"I felt extremely guilty. I mean, my patients are the reason why I do what I do. I just thought that I might have been at risk for hurting someone," she said crying. "And I didn't want to do that."

On the orders of the Centers for Disease Control Golz subsequently spent three weeks quarantined in her home. She says she was not paid during the cautionary period.

Attorney Ramez Shamieh now plans to file a lawsuit against Texas Health Resources. "I think to simply put it, they shouldn't have put her [Vinson] on that flight. They should have had better protocols in place," he said.

Shamieh says the lawsuit isn't about making a quick buck, it's about righting a wrong.

Meanwhile, Gloz says she is trying to move on with her life, but fears she'll forever be stained by Ebola. "Hopefully people [will] learn and it never happens again," she said.

Since CBS 11 News found out about the potential lawsuit late Monday afternoon, we've tried numerous times to get in touch with Texas Health Resources. Our calls and emails have not been returned.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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