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Manitoba families part of lawsuit against Ontario-based firm over senior care

Canadian Press THE CANADIAN PRESS

WINNIPEG — Five Manitoba families are part of a massive lawsuit against an Ontario-based company that operates care homes for seniors.

The families claim that Revera Inc. did not treat their loved ones properly and put their health at risk.

The Manitoba families who filed claims say their loved ones were cared for in three different facilities in the province.

Lawyers working for the families say there are 80 such claims against the company across Canada.

None of the allegations has been tested in court.

In an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Toronto workplace violence and elder abuse consultant Denise Koster says the case isn’t unique.

“Unfortunately, resident abuse and neglect is not a new issue,” says Koster, principal of Koster Consulting Associates.

“However, with the 2018 Wettlaufer public inquiry and the number of resident abuse cases that have been profiled in the news, families and loved ones are becoming more empowered to take a formal stand against professional misconduct and mistreatment,” she says.

Elizabeth Wettlaufer, an Ontario nurse, confessed to murdering eight patients and attempting to kill several more by injecting them with overdoses of insulin at long-term care homes and private residences in Ontario over nearly a decade.

“The Manitoba families joining the lawsuit will only further strengthen the case and will bring more national attention to the issue,” says Koster. “It will also stimulate important conversations that are necessary to safeguard our most vulnerable citizens.

“Moreover,” she says, “the wilful blindness and ageist attitudes that still exist in our society pertaining to the rights of older adults will be publicly challenged, and ideally the system will become more accountable.”

Koster hopes that will result in “consistent and gold-standard care” for residents.

A Revera official did not respond to the specific allegations but says company employees provide compassionate, high-quality care.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, which provides about $60 million a year to Revera-operated facilities, says it is aware of the allegation but is not listed in the lawsuit.

Lawyers representing the families say the lawsuit could take five to seven years to run through the courts.

– with files from AdvocateDaily.com

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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