Ontario nurses seek to revive SARS lawsuit

From HealthZone.ca August 6, 2009


A group of Ontario nurses is seeking to appeal a court ruling that left those who contracted SARS unable to sue the provincial government over the deadly outbreak.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association says it’s asking the Supreme Court of Canada for an appeal of the May decision by Ontario’s top court.

It says the May ruling leaves nurses at risk as they care for patients during the current swine flu pandemic, as well as other outbreaks of potentially deadly diseases.

Several groups attempted to sue the province, alleging the government put economic interests ahead of public safety during the outbreak.

But the Ontario Court of Appeal said the claims did not have legal grounds to proceed, and dismissed the lawsuits.

The nurses’ claim involved 53 registered nurses in the Toronto area and their families, including the family of Tecla Lin, who died of SARS in July 2003.

They alleged the province failed to provide nurses with timely information and that the directives issued to Ontario hospitals were inadequate and exposed nurses to the risk of contracting SARS.


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