The request for authorization of collective action against CHSLDs “does not hold water”, argues their lawyer

2023-09-22 14:37:47

The request for authorization of class action against public CHSLDs “does not hold water,” according to the lawyer who represents health establishments in this case currently being heard in the Superior Court of Quebec. The defendants believe that the case of Anna José Maquet, a 94-year-old resident of the CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée who died during the first wave of COVID-19, is not representative of what happened in all of the Public CHSLDs in the province.

Me Jonathan Desjardins-Mallette, who represents the health establishments, presented his counter-arguments in court on Thursday. “The authorization request describes in detail the facts concerning [le CHSLD] Sainte-Dorothée, refers you to pieces that identify places where there have been major outbreaks. They tell you, you can take that and infer that it happened everywhere regardless of the number of cases. What we are telling you is that it doesn’t hold water,” he said during the hearing.

The lawyer argued that Quebec’s public CHSLDs were not all shaken by a major outbreak of COVID-19 like the CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée, which experienced one of the worst in the province. “This is a major flaw in the description of the group [au bénéfice duquel l’action collective serait intentée]continued Me Desjardins-Mallette. This means that you have residents and their loved ones who are part of the group and for whom there is no specific allegation of fault and even less of damage. »

The lawyer for Jean-Pierre Daubois, who is calling for collective action, alleged Monday that the “faulty and negligent” conduct of health establishments and authorities is “the direct and probable cause of the outbreaks” which have “caused at least 5,347 deaths” in CHSLDs between March 13, 2020 and March 20, 2021. According to him, the Quebec plan to fight a pandemic should have been activated in January 2020 rather than in March.

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If authorized by the judge, this class action could concern at least 10,000 CHSLD residents, according to the Ménard Martin lawyers firm, “as well as an unknown number of people who could be part of the group as caregivers natural persons, children, grandchildren, heirs or beneficiaries.

The Attorney General of Quebec, who represents the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the national director of public health of Quebec, will be heard Friday in Superior Court.

To watch on video

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