Thomson Rogers' Response to Premier Ford's Proposed Legislation to Protect LTC Home Operators

Thomson Rogers responds to the Fords Government's decision to back peddle on holding long-term care facilities accountable for negligence claims.

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA


Toronto, ON, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On October 20, 2020, the Ford Government announced proposed legislation that will protect long-term care home operators against negligence claims by thousands of seniors who have contracted COVID-19 and tragically died at these long-term care homes. The actions taken by the Ford Government will make it more difficult for victims of the tragedy in Ontario's long-term care system to obtain justice.

It is shocking and appalling that Premier Ford would take this action while the Independent Commission continues to review the failings of the long-term care system. Back in June, Premier Ford promised to hold these for-profit long-term care home operators accountable. What has changed?

The legislation will serve to protect long-term care home operators and their insurers who make millions of dollars in profits, annually. It is Ontario's vulnerable seniors who need protection, not the multi-million dollar corporations with government connections.

The legislation makes it clear that claims based in gross negligence can continue. Thomson Rogers has issued class action claims against the most egregious long-term care homes (Altamont Care Community, Camilla Care Community, West Terrace Care Community, Woodbridge Vista Care Community, Carlingview Manor and Extendicare West End Villa.) These homes and their operators have been implicated in the Canadian Armed Forces Report and have been taken over by local hospital authorities for such horrendous acts as:

  • Staff were observed wearing garbage bags over their clothing in place of personal protective equipment ("PPE");
  • Limited staff access to PPE and inconsistent PPE practices;
  • Significant under-staffing and a total failure to implement proper infection control protocols;
  • Concerns raised regarding staff clinical skills and some personnel, including RPNs, required clinical updates to continue practicing safely;
  • COVID-positive residents and COVID-negative residents were sharing the same room;
  • Lack of signage and/or inaccurate signage to show which residents were COVID-positive;
  • Residents were found to be underfed and had poor nutritional status;
  • Residents were found with pressure ulcers that were not properly treated as a result of prolonged bed rest;
  • Many residents were bed bound for several weeks and were not repositioned in bed or washed properly;
  • Lack of consistent monitoring of hydration and nutritional intake of residents;
  • High resident room temperatures; and,
  • Cockroaches present on resident floors and in the kitchen.

There is no basis for the provincial government to be protecting long-term care home operators and their insurers. Such action adds severe insult to the tragedy already suffered by the residents and their families who have been victimised in Ontario's long-term care system.

These claims meet the gross negligence standard and will move forward.

For more information about these class actions please contact: Stephen Birman, Thomson Rogers, sbirman@thomsonrogers.com, Phone: 416-868-3137, Robert Ben, Thomson Rogers, rben@thomsonrogers.com, Phone: 416-868-3168 or Lucy Jackson, Thomson Rogers, ljackson@thomsonrogers.com, Phone: 416-868-3154.

For media inquiries please contact Ruth S. Fernandes, rfernandes@thomsonrogers.com, Phone: 416-868-3190.

 

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