Feb 01, 2021

By Christine Ross

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A proposed class-action lawsuit filed against the Barrie long term care home Roberta Place could just be the tip of the iceberg. So says the Zoomer advocacy group CARP, whose interim chief policy officer Bill Van Gorder says this all could have been avoided.

“If the inspections had been done before, when they should have been and if there had been follow through, on those inspection reports, maybe we would not be in the position we are in today with having these issues come back.”

All but one resident at Roberta Place has tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 50 have died.

Van Gorder says  caregivers are being backed into a corner because of inaction by the provincial government.

“I’m sad, I feel so badly for the residents and their families, and wondering if this is just the tip of the iceberg for what we expect is going to follow in other situations, too.”

Bill VanGorder CARP Interim Chief Policy Officer

Families allege their loved ones have been neglected at the home claiming there wasn’t enough personal protective equipment and infected residents weren’t isolated. The suit, which has yet to be certified as a class action.

The $500-million suit with 15,000 plaintiffs names several major long-term care providers, municipalities, and the provincial government. Marcella Lambie is the representative plaintiff represented  by Barrie firms Brock Medical Malpractice and Oatley Vigmond.

It’s one of a number of proposed actions that have sprung up after COVID spread through nursing homes.

Meantime, CARP’s online petition to have the long term care minister fired now has over 6,500 signatures.


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