$15 million class action lawsuit launched against Ottawa long-term care home due to COVID-19
OTTAWA -- A $15 million class action lawsuit has been filed against an Ottawa long-term care home hit hard by COVID-19, alleging it failed to ensure there was adequate staff and screening measures at the home.
Thomson Rogers has issued a class action proceeding claiming damages on behalf of residents of Extendicare West End Villa and their families.
West End Villa is owned by Extendicare Canada Inc. and is located on Elmira Drive in Ottawa.
Ottawa Public Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at West End Villa on Aug. 30. A total of 66 residents and 35 staff members have tested positive for the virus. Fifteen residents have died due to COVID-19.
Thomson Rogers says in a statement that, "It is alleged that, despite having ample time to properly implement an infection prevention and control program, West End Villa failed to provide personal protective equipment to West End Villa's staff, as well as to ensure that there was an adequate number of staff."
"It is also alleged that West End Villa failed to implement screening measures of its staff and basic social distancing practices."
None of the allegations have been tested in court.
Last Friday, the Ministry of Long-Term Care announced a management agreement between the Ottawa Hospital and Extendicare West End Villa. The ministry said the agreement will help Extendicare West End Villa address COVID-19 in their long-term care home.
Extendicare tells CTV News Ottawa it has not received any documentation or notice related to the purported class action filed.
"Nothing is more important than the care, health and safety of the people in our home. This is a deeply concerning time for our residents and their families. We are in touch with them daily as we continue to manage the situation," said Extendicare in a statement Thursday afternoon.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging for long-term care communities. We know that as cases of community spread increase, so does the virus’ opportunity to enter long-term care environments. We have had a regular staff testing program in place since June to identify and isolate cases as early as possible."
Extendicare tells CTV News Ottawa West End Villa has had an "ample supply" of personal protective equipment to meet all provincial directives both before and during this outbreak.
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Jeremie Charron