A lawyer representing Quebec’s regional health authorities is arguing against the continuation of a proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of residents of long-term care homes that experienced COVID-19 outbreaks. Speaking in Quebec Superior Court, Jonathan Desjardins-Mallette stated that the evidence in the case pertains to significant outbreaks that caused crises in specific long-term care centers, but not all facilities were in the same situation. If the lawsuit is allowed to proceed, it would cover all residents of long-term care homes where COVID-19 outbreaks occurred during the first two waves of the pandemic, as well as their family members.
The definition of an outbreak, as outlined in the case, is two or more linked cases acquired in the same environment within a two-week period. Desjardins-Mallette highlighted that while the proposed suit focuses on a facility in the Montreal area where over 100 residents died during a COVID-19 outbreak, other residences included in the lawsuit had only a few cases and no significant operational failures. On the other hand, Patrick Marin-Maynard, the lawyer seeking to bring the case, argues that systemic problems resulted in preventable deaths and harmed the mental and physical well-being of surviving residents.