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US TB Traveler Sued Over 'reckless and Selfish Behavior'

A US tuberculosis patient who ignored warnings not to board a transatlantic flight with a potentially deadly strain of the disease is being sued by seven Canadians and two Czechs who flew with him, media said Thursday.

American Andrew Speaker sparked an international health scare two months ago when he flew to Montreal via Prague, against doctors' orders.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had said he was infected with a potentially deadly strain of tuberculosis generally irresponsive to drug treatment and asked him to turn himself into Italian authorities.

But he refused, choosing to return home to the United States from his Greek wedding and Italian honeymoon through Canada to avoid detection.

Nassim Tabri, who sat one row behind Speaker on the flight from Prague to Montreal, blasted Speaker's "reckless and selfish behavior."

"It was particularly stressful," he told public broadcaster CBC. "I was helpless as well, because in my head at that moment I was just thinking my future goals are gone."

"I want justice, I want what's fair. Why should Mr. Speaker feel that his life is worth more (than) my life and the lives of the other innocent passengers on the plane?" said Tabri.

Montreal lawyer Anlac Nguyen said on behalf of the complainants that nine separate civil lawsuits would be filed against Speaker on Thursday, and more suits could be filed in the coming few weeks.

The complainants have been unable to work, and live with fear, stigma and isolation, he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., lamenting, "all the pain, suffering that they had to go through, all the anxiety."

Nassim Tabri will find out later this month if he has the disease.

Speaker has been under mandatory isolation since returning to the United States.

On July 3, Charles Daley of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Color
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