Nova Scotia government added to lawsuit over deaths at Halifax long-term care home

HALIFAX –

The province of Nova Scotia has been added as a defendant in a proposed class-action lawsuit against a long-term care facility in Halifax where 53 people died from COVID-19 in the spring of 2020.

In a statement Wednesday, the Wagners law firm says the amended lawsuit alleges the province was negligent in its regulation and oversight of the Northwood facility.

It also alleges that repeated budget cuts by the government and freezes to long-term care spending left residents at increased risk to the rapid spread of infectious disease.

The statement of claim, which was initially filed in June 2020 and contains allegations that have not been proven in court, alleged the Northwood facility breached its obligations to residents through “inaction and inadequate response.”

It also claimed the facility’s practices caused the untimely deaths of residents and harms, losses and damages to their surviving family members.

The proposed lawsuit has not yet been certified by the court.

“Class members still don’t have answers about the chaotic outbreak, acknowledgments that actionable steps will be taken to prevent such a tragedy in the future, or even an apology,” lawyer Ray Wagner said. “These remedies are, to some, just as important as compensation for the loss of their loved ones sought by the action.”

Representative plaintiff Erica Surette has said that she lost her 66-year-old mother, Patricia West, on April 22, 2020, after West had been moved from a single to a shared room in the midst of the outbreak at Northwood.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2022.

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