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Health-Care Establishments in Quebec Dispute Permission for COVID-19 Class Action

A lawyer for Quebec’s regional health authorities says a proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of residents of long-term care homes that had COVID-19 outbreaks should not go forward.

Jonathan Desjardins-Mallette told Quebec Superior Court today that the evidence in the case concerns major outbreaks that prompted crises in specific long-term care centres, but not all facilities were in the same situation.

If the case is allowed to go ahead, it would cover all residents of long-term care homes where COVID-19 outbreaks occurred during the first two waves of the pandemic, as well as their family members.

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It defines an outbreak as two or more linked cases acquired in the same environment within two weeks.

Desjardins-Mallette says that while the proposed suit highlights a Montreal-area facility where more than 100 residents died during a COVID-19 outbreak, other residences that would be included in the suit had only a handful of cases and no serious operational failures.

Patrick Marin-Maynard, the lawyer seeking to bring the case, argues that systemic problems led to preventable deaths and damaged the mental and physical health of residents who survived.

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