Class-action lawsuit filed over COVID-19 deaths at Maples Personal Care Home in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG -- A new class-action lawsuit has been filed focusing on the Revera-owned Maples Personal Care Home in Winnipeg.
According to a news release from Diamond and Diamond Lawyers, the lawsuit was filed on May 10, and names AXR Operating Inc. and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority as defendants as well.
The lawsuit is in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility in October, which resulted in the deaths of 56 people. During this outbreak, 157 residents contracted the disease, as well as 74 staff members.
"There was negligence on behalf of Revera and the WRHA," Chris Wullum, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told CTV News.
“Maples Personal Care Home was grossly understaffed during this period of time."
The lawsuit alleges Revera failed to plan for and respond to the outbreak on several fronts. It claims there was inadequate staffing levels to protect residents, leaving them dehydrated and malnourished and vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Revera defendants breached their duties of care and were negligent in their care of the residents causing their injuries or deaths,” the claim reads.
Diamond and Diamond noted that an independent review of the facility found that it was not prepared for the reduction in staff brought on by the outbreak and that the new workers brought in were not properly trained in prevention and control.
“Plaintiffs also allege that subpar documentation, a lack of sanitization protocols and poor communication contributed to the deaths at the home,” the lawyers said in a news release.
The lawsuit includes two representative plaintiffs: Lawrence Lewsey as a representative of the estate of Ethel Lewsey and Eddie Calisto-Tavares as a representative of the estate of Manuel Calisto.
"We need to continue to bring light to that tragic event so that it never happens again," Calisto-Tavares told CTV News.
Eddie Calisto-Tavares said the lawsuit is not just for her 88-year-old father who died. She said it is for all of the families and residents.
“My father had me and so therefore he had a voice, but there were so many other people that had no one there looking after them,” she said.
Diamond and Diamond noted the class members include anyone who contracted COVID-19 while being a resident at the care home between 2020 to the present day, and all family members and estates of these people.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for funeral expenses and loss of companionship.
In a statement, Revera said: “We extend our deepest sympathies to all the families and friends of residents affected by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Revera respects the court process and we will respond to the proposed legal action at the appropriate time and through proper legal channels.”
The WRHA declined to comment, saying it's a court matter.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.