A former Maine nurse who was quarantined in New Jersey when she returned to the U.S. from treating Ebola patients in Africa in 2014 has settled her lawsuit against the governor, according to filings in U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey.
In exchange for dismissal of the complaint filed in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration agreed to new rules that will guarantee quarantine only occurs after exposure to the Ebola virus when medically necessary, the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Hickox, said in a news release Friday.
“The settlement of Kaci Hickox’s lawsuit creates a new ‘Bill of Rights’ for individuals subject to possible quarantine or isolation in New Jersey and sets a model for other states to replicate,” Hickox’s attorney Norman Siegel of New York City said in the release.
New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in statement to the website nj.com that the “supplemental protocols” that were reached as part of the settlement were “consistent with existing law and regulations.”
As part of the agreement Hickox dropped her demand for a minimum of $250,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Both sides agreed to pay their own legal fees and costs for the litigation.
Under the agreement:
— Quarantine or isolation will be imposed only when medically and epidemiologically necessary to prevent the spread of Ebola.
— When those measures are carried out, they must be in the least restrictive means to prevent the spread of Ebola, and after less restrictive measures have been explored.
— To authorize quarantine, there must be a comprehensive order documenting information such as the legal authority under which the order is issued, the medical basis of the isolation, and a statement explaining the right to retain an attorney and appeal, among other provisions.
A federal just must approve the terms of the settlement.