$2 million class-action lawsuit against senior care facility

COVID-19 Update for Friday, April 17

Avleen K Mokha

Image of Quebec Premier Francois Legault.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault addressing outbreaks in CHSLDs during today’s press briefing. Photo: Screen capture / CBC

COVID-19 refers to the disease caused by a new kind of coronavirus. Coronavirus is a family of viruses that can affect animals and humans. The family of viruses causes respiratory illnesses.

The new kind of coronavirus was found in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

The global numbers

COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in over two hundred countries across the world. The death toll has crossed 100,000.

As of today there are 2,078,605 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 139,515 deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Cases in the neighbourhood

467 cases have been confirmed in the Villeray-St Michel-Parc Extension neighbourhood, as per Santé Montreal.

Villeray-St Michel-Parc Extension neighbourhood has the fifth highest population of number of COVID-19 cases, as per data released by Santé Montreal. There are 33 boroughs or linked cities in the greater Montreal region.

In the Montreal region, there are 7,760 confirmed cases including 391 deaths.

The latest news

70 percent of Quebec’s COVID-19 related deaths have taken place in long-term care facilities for seniors (CHSLDs) or other seniors’ homes, according to Dr Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director.

Earlier today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that 125 medically trained personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces will arrive in the province to help CHSLDs.

In his press briefing today, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said he took “full responsibility” for the situation in CHSLDs. “If I was able to redo one thing, I should have increased the wages of orderlies faster.”

“If I was able to redo one thing, I should have increased the wages of orderlies faster.”

The wage for publicly run CHSLDs vary from $20.55 to $22.35 per hour, as reported by the CBC. In a privately run facility, the wage is $13 per hour, just above the province’s minimum wage.

Legault’s acknowledgement comes right as the daughter of a resident that died in Dorval’s CHSLD Maison Herron applied to file a $2 million dollar class action lawsuit. The lawsuit targets Katasa Group Management and Chartwell Quebec Holding, stakeholders of the CHSLD for “inhuman and degrading treatment” of the elderly residents.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann announced today that she appointed a special inspector to handle the cases at Maison Herron.

At least 33 residents died in Maison Herron due to COVID-19. The government said 31 deaths took place in three weeks, between March 13 and March 29.

Tuesday this week, owners of Katasa Group Management complained that the number of deaths indicated by the government are misleading. In a letter to Legault co-owner Katherine Coweiri said that a majority of deaths took place after West Island Health and Social Services took charge of the residence on March 29.

In today’s briefing, Legault also clarified details of a decree that was published on April 10. According to this decree, the government could ask educational professionals to transfer to the health field.

Legault assured workers that transferring to the health field will be voluntary.

A new COVID-19 clinic is being set up at the Jewish General Hospital’s parking lot. Family doctors from the city’s West Central region will work in trailers to do assessments. This clinic takes patients by appointment only.

Legault has said provincial officials will no longer be providing updates on weekends, unless there is important news.

Main resources

+1 877 644-4545: Government hotline for COVID-19

211: Multilingual social and community helpline

Click here to visit the ACCESS Montreal website for information about COVID-19 in languages other than French.

Languages include English, Arabic, Persian, Greek, Italian, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Urdu, Turkish, Portuguese, Russian, and Armenian.