Thomson Rogers is issuing a class action lawsuit, claiming $25-million on behalf of residents of Carlingview Manor and their families.
Ottawa Public Health says 60 residents died during a COVID-19 outbreak, which affected 170 residents and 89 staff members at the long-term care home between April 7 and June 18.
One of the representative plaintiffs, Stephen Hannon, says his father Roy was a resident at Carlingview Manor and contracted COVID-19 while sharing a bedroom with three other residents.
Roy then died on May 15, 2020.
The law firm says Hannon represents family members of the victims who have lost loved ones, without being given the opportunity to say goodbye.
Thomas Rogers explains that Carlingview Manor is one of many long-term care homes in Ontario that requires four residents to share a single bedroom. On June 10, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health introduced a Directive that prohibits further placement of residents in three or four bed ward rooms at long-term care homes.
The law firm is alleging that Carlingview Manor's failure to upgrade its building design, including eliminating four-resident bedrooms, contributed to the mass spread of COVID-19 within its facility.
It is also saying that following Ontario’s declaration of a State of Emergency on March 17, Carlingview Manor failed to implement screening measures of its staff and basic social distancing practices, including the separation of infected and non-infected residents.
"This is the fourth action Thomson Rogers has advanced on behalf of residents of a long-term care home in Ontario. It is shocking to see that many of these facilities, including Carlingview Manor, have not updated their structural design for decades and continued to allow four residents to share a room during the pandemic," said Stephen Birman, a partner involved in the class actions.
Hannon says he hopes that the independent commission into Ontario's long-term care system and the proposed class action will result in meaningful change to ensure that a tragedy like this is never repeated in Ontario’s vulnerable long-term care population.