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La. Gets Ebola Ashes Restraining Order to Block In-State Disposal

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 14, 2014 4:49 PM

Growing concerns about the spread of Ebola aren't just limited to talk of restricting flights or quarantining people who have possibly exposed to the virus.

The state of Louisiana was granted a court order Monday preventing the incinerated belongings of a Texas man who died from Ebola from being shipped into their state, reports The Times-Picayune. The restraining order comes after the Louisiana landfill in which the waste was to be disposed had already refused to accept the ashes.

Nevertheless, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell apparently wanted to make sure the ashes stayed out of his state.

Ashes from Incineration of Texas Ebola Victim Thomas Eric Duncan's Possessions

The ashes that are the subject of the temporary restraining order are what remains of the possessions of Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, which were incinerated following his death from the disease earlier this month.

Citing uncertainty on the part of federal and state health care workers regarding the protocols for dealing with waste which had been potentially exposed to Ebola, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell requested the temporary restraining order preventing the transport of the ashes into Louisiana. The order not only prevents the company that incinerated Duncan's possessions from bringing the ashes into Louisiana, but it also orders the company to provide information regarding possible disposal sites within the state of Texas.

Temporary Restraining Orders

Although temporary restraining orders are commonly seen in domestic violence or abuse situations, they can be used in a wide array of other situations. A TRO is a temporary order that forces a party to do or refrain from doing specific acts in the face of court sanctions -- like contempt of court.

As the name suggests, temporary restraining orders are temporary, lasting until the parties can appear at a hearing. In this case, a hearing on a preliminary injunction, which would bar the ashes from the state pending the outcome of any litigation, has been scheduled for October 22.

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