Edmonton care home facing $8.1M lawsuit after COVID-19 outbreak, deaths
EDMONTON -- A long-term care home where 63 residents caught COVID-19 has been handed an $8.1-million class-action lawsuit, lead by a woman whose mother was one of more than a dozen residents who died from the disease at the facility.
According to a statement of claim, Shepherd’s Care Foundation and its Millwoods Long Term Care Centre are accused of staff and personal protective equipment shortages, not conducting regular COVID-19 testing to prevent spread of the disease, and allowing visitors without protocols or testing in place.
The lawsuit says as a result of Shepherd’s Care’s actions, the outbreak infected multiple workers and patients.
“There's a lot of concern from families to try and see if a case like this could help bring some change into the system so that we don't have these kinds of outbreaks again in the future,” lawyer Rick Mallett told CTV News Edmonton.
When the suit was filed Oct. 28, nine residents had died. That number has since risen to 13.
Among the victims is the mother of the suit’s representative plaintiff, Angelena Larson.
According to the statement of claim, Larson’s mother was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September and died from the disease and other medical complications on Oct. 2.
SHEPHERD’S CARE TO LAUNCH ‘VIGOROUS DEFENCE’
Shepherd’s Care’s president and CEO Shawn Terlson said the not-for-profit organization was reviewing the suit, and as such, couldn’t speak to it further.
However, communications executive director Zachary Penner told CTV News Edmonton, “We will be mounting a vigorous defence.”
Shepherd’s Care maintains it spent more than $4 million in extra staffing, supplies, training and other protective measures in response to the pandemic.
“And throughout it all, maintain(ed) open and transparent communication with its stakeholders,” a statement reads.
But the lawsuit also claims Shepherd’s Care did not ensure residents and their families were adequately informed of the outbreak or that resident testing was happening.
The allegations have not been tested in court.
As of Nov. 14, 63 residents and 47 workers had been infected at the Millwoods Long Term Care Centre.
Shepherd’s Care had 20 days to respond to the suit.