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Calgary Families File Lawsuits Against Nursing Homes

Posted in: Blog, Serious Personal Injury // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
February 7, 2019

Revera Inc. (“Revera”), an Ontario-based company, is facing 85 lawsuits throughout Canada alleging that it breached its duty of care to its elderly residents. It is estimated that Revera is facing $150 million to $175 million in damages and court costs.

Revera is a privately owned Canadian company which owns or operates more than 500 nursing and retirement properties across Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. It offers senior apartments, independent living, assisted living, memory care, and long term care.

Last month, four Calgary families filed claims with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. The Court documents have not yet been served on Revera and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Isabel Nelson

Leslie Armstrong, daughter of Isabel Nelson (“Nelson”), claims that her mother’s electric wheelchair was “confiscated” after she bumped into a glass door and broke it while living at the Revera facility in Okotoks, Alberta. She felt trapped and became reliant on staff to move her around, even when she needed to use the washroom. It is alleged that Nelson was treated this was as punishment for damaging the door, despite the fact that her family had paid for the repairs.

Nelson spent almost 2 ½ years at the facility and was regularly threatened with eviction. She died at the age of 85 in February 2018, two years after she was evicted from the facility.

Nelson’s family alleges that she did not receive her medication on time, was given the wrong medication, or not given her medication at all. The lawsuit describes an incident where Nelson requested Ventolin medication for an “asthmatic episode”, but received no response when she rang a bell in her room requesting assistance. During this medical episode, she made her way to the front desk and it is alleged that the nurse did not know what Ventolin was. Nelson was “afraid for her life given the delay in getting the Ventolin”. The family is suing for at least $500,000 in damages.

Nadezda Marenich

The family of Nadezda Marenich (“Marenich”) alleges that negligence and deficiencies in care by Revera’s nursing home in McKenzie Towne caused or materially contributed to Marenich’s death.

It is alleged that Marenich suffered falls resulting in injuries as she was not properly cared for during her eight year residency. It is also alleged that she developed a urinary tract infection, she was physically assaulted by staff and/or other residents, she was not sufficiently fed or hydrated, and was forced to live in unsanitary conditions.

Mary Gerber

The family of Mary Gerber (“Gerber”) alleges that Gerber suffered pain and suffering during the 10 years that she was a resident at the Bow-Crest facility. It is alleged that Gerber had open sores and wounds on her legs that were not appropriately treated. Gerber’s lawsuit also contains allegations that her physicians breached their duty of care to her.

Emmet De Grood

The famiy of Emmet De Grood (“De Grood”) has also commenced a lawsuit against Revera. De Grood was a resident at the Bow-Crest facility and alleges that De Grood suffered a UTI that went undetected causing him to require an extended period of hospitalization.

De Grood also alleges that he was bullied and harassed by management and the staff, he was not appropriately fed or hydrated, and he suffered multiple falls which caused serious injuries.

HOW WILL THE LAWSUITS PROCEED?

An application for class action status was discontinued last year and the families have decided to each file and serve separate lawsuits against Revera. They will proceed under mass tort status, which means the cases will be dealt with as a group.

Melissa Miller (“Miller”), a lawyer handling the families’ lawsuit, stated:

It’s an unfortunate reality that there doesn’t seem to be enough staff in these homes for the level of care that people need.

According to Miller, there are lawsuits that have not yet been filed and this may increase the total lawsuits to be filed against Revera to 120. Each lawsuit will be seeking between $1.75 million to $3 million in damages and court costs.

SIMILAR LAWSUITS FILED IN MANITOBA

Five lawsuits have been filed against Revera in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg. Each of these lawsuits allege that “the negligence and deficiencies in care by the defendants caused or materially contributed to the plaintiff’s death”.

These lawsuits also make allegations against five unnamed doctors and 10 unnamed nurses and personal support workers employed or contracted by Revera alleging breaches of their duty of care to the plaintiffs.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers will continue to follow any developments regarding the lawsuits commenced against Revera and will provide updates in this blog. Please see our recent blog regarding nursing home abuse or neglect for more information regarding this topic.

At Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers we are committed to helping you and your loved ones. If a member of your family has suffered serious injury or significant harm due to nursing home abuse or neglect, Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers may be able to help you obtain financial compensation. Contact our knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyers at 403-571-0555 or online to learn what options are available.

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