By The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.
MONTREAL – A judge has authorized a class-action lawsuit against the Quebec government on behalf of all residents of public long-term care homes that experienced major COVID-19 outbreaks during the pandemic’s first year.
The lawsuit in Superior Court alleges that the province’s response to the first two waves of COVID-19 was improvised and that a pre-existing pandemic plan was ignored until it was too late.
Members of the class action include anyone living in a public long-term care centre that experienced a COVID-19 outbreak that infected at least 25 per cent of residents between March 13, 2020, and March 20, 2021.
The suit seeks compensation of at least $100,000 for each member who was infected, $40,000 for class members who didn’t get sick, and additional compensation for both groups’ families.
The class action also aims to obtain an extra $10 million in punitive damages, and it alleges that government decisions – including to move hospital patients into long-term care centres – led to additional deaths.
More than 5,000 people died in Quebec’s long-term care centres during the period covered by the class-action lawsuit.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2023.