$20M class action filed against Canadian aged care provider over COVID-19 deaths

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Anglicare is not the only operator being pursued by the lawyers.

One of its largest operators in Canada, Schlegel Villages, is facing paying out $20 million in damages on behalf of residents who suffered from COVID-19, families who lost relatives from the virus and those whose standard of care was allegedly reduced during the outbreak at its 180-bed Village of Erin Meadows in Mississauga.

65 residents and 26 staff have so far been infected with COVID-19 with 21 deaths recorded.

The lawsuit alleges the home and Schlegel failed to ensure residents and staff were kept safe, comply with provincial directives to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and equip their staff with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in a timely manner.

The claims contend that even though a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on April 2, residents were still allowed to sit together at tables for four in their dining rooms for all three meals (as late as 9 April) and community officials continued to allow residents who tested positive for COVID-19 to wander out of their room and access the rooms of other residents (as late as 17 April).

Staff shortages also resulted in residents receiving substandard care, resulting in bladder infections, dehydration and other conditions that led to hospitalisation and even death, the lawsuit alleges.

Schlegel says they will address the allegations through the proper legal processes.

They have 19 villages in Ontario with co-located retirement and aged care homes.