Families are applying to the court for the purpose of condemning two residences for seniors in the Laurentians as well as the Quebec government to pay them $9 million in compensatory damages.
The families believe that they “left to their fate” their loved ones during the first wave of the pandemic.
“An inability to act, a lack of respect for the precautionary principle, the cynical blindness as well as the often voluntary abandonment of residents of CHSLDs and residences for the elderly to their fate, by isolating them without sufficient care, far from their natural caregivers, and promising them a more than probable death”, can we read in the lawsuit.
Emmanuel Makris and Vickie Vassiliki Makris as well as Patrick Dumont respectively lost their mother and father at Maison Wilfrid-Grignon in Saint-Adèle and CHSLD Philippe-Lapointe in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts in May and April 2020 after contracting COVID-19.
Despina Pafou was at Maison Wilfrid-Grignon when healthcare professionals from the CISSS des Laurentides arrived as reinforcements in the spring of 2020.
They found there a residence adrift, an absence of management, stable staff and above all a deficiency of personal protective equipment when there were confirmed cases of COVID-19. Ms. Pafou’s children believe that she experienced unnecessary suffering and pain.
“The unimaginable terror of dying alone, totally cut off from human contact, while locked in enforced solitary confinement or her seclusion room would soon be turned into a death chamber.”
Patrick Dumont, whose father André, 78, died of complications related to COVID-19, says that the residents of the Philippe-Lapointe pavilion were infected by a Montreal worker sent by a private agency who came to lend a hand.
“There have been breaches in hygiene practice against the COVID-19 virus. I also hold the Government of Quebec and the Ministry of Health responsible for failing in their duty to protect the public. There were no cases of COVID-19 in this establishment until an employee from Montreal came to replace staff from Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. How is this possible, when there were restrictions on moving around? The social worker confirmed everything to us. It is a fact, and it is unacceptable. We should not call on the army to ensure the safety of our elders in CHSLDs: this situation is a real shame.
The lawsuit also targets the Groupe santé Arbec and the CISSS de Lanaudière.