Families sue care homes, alleging neglect contributed to death of loved ones
2019-01-08 from cbc.ca
Marlene Greenwood's daughters say her health declined after she moved to a Winnipeg care home where staff failed to care adequately for the 72-year-old, so they've joined about 85 families in suing the multinational company that owns the facility.
"It still hurts," said Kelly Thibodeau, 46, whose mother spent the last three years of her life at the Charleswood Long Term Care Home, owned by Mississauga, Ont.-based Revera Inc.
"We were constantly just sort of swept under the rug with, 'Trust us. It will be fine. We know what we're doing.'"
Greenwood's family alleges negligence on the part of staff and doctors caused or contributed to the deaths of elderly patients. Charleswood Long Term Care Home, Beacon Hill Lodge and Parkview Place are named in the five lawsuits filed in Manitoba.
"The plaintiffs state that the negligence and deficiencies in care by the defendants caused or materially contributed to the plaintiff's death," each of the five Manitoba lawsuits state.
The lawsuits also point the finger at five unnamed doctors who were employed or contracted by Revera and 10 unnamed nurses and personal support workers. The lawsuit alleges the physicians breached their duty of care.
Revera is a privately held care home company with 500 senior living facilities across Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. — including 12 in Manitoba and more than 100 in Ontario.
The Manitoba lawsuits were filed against Revera in the Court of Queen's Bench in Winnipeg. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The statement of claim for the lawsuit involving Greenwood accuses staff of neglecting "extremely vulnerable" and "frail elderly patients," and thus contributing to Greenwood's decline and premature death.
The lawsuits involve facilities in Western Canada and Ontario, with the majority in Ontario, said Melissa Miller, a lawyer with the firm Howie Sacks & Henry LLP in Toronto, which is involved in the case. She expects lawsuits that have yet to be filed will push the total to around 120.
The lawsuits each seek $1.75 million to $3 million in damages and court costs, Miller said. Countrywide, the cases amount to a total of $150 million to $175 million, she said.
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