There seems to be no end to the woes at Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville.

The 101-bed retirement and long-term care home which has posted 27 COVID-19 deaths to date, has been named in a proposed $15-million class-action lawsuit, filed Friday in Toronto against Responsive Group Inc, a Markham-based company.

The proposed class action, filed Friday in Toronto, identifies six homes linked to Responsive Group and its subsidiaries: Anson Place Care Centre is one of them.

The licensee for Anson Place is Rykka Care Centres, an operating partner of Responsive Health Management.

Anson’s representative plaintiff in the proposed action, Mike McCarroll, is the son of Anson Place resident Ruby McCarroll, who died of COVID-19 March 30.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration Responsive Group breached their duties of care by failing to ensure adequate staffing, failing to properly plan for and respond to the pandemic and failing to comply with public health guidance and directives.

None of the allegations contained in the statement of claim have been tested in court. The plaintiffs are seeking punitive and exemplary damages of $15 million.

The action, which must be certified by a judge to proceed as a class-action lawsuit, is being led by Toronto-based law firm Tyr LLP.

Coincidentally, Ontario’s patient ombudsman has appealed to the public for whistleblower complaints about the long-term care sector’s response to COVID-19 from staff, family members, caregivers and residents.

Anyone with information about COVID-19 issues in Ontario’s long-term care homes is urged to file a complaint at www.patientombudsman.ca
or call 1-888-321-0339.

ANSON PLACE COVID-19 HISTORY

MARCH 28 – First death reported

MARCH 30 – 7 positive tests. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit working with Anson Place staff and leadership to initiate a public health management plan to reduce the risk of transmission among residents and staff.

APRIL 1 – 11 positive cases, 3 deaths – 2 confirmed CO-19

APRIL 6 – 37 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Among five recent deaths, four confirmed as being related to COVID-19.

Significant number of positive cases traced to attendance at a funeral. A public health management plan initiated to address this including testing attendees and formulating self-isolation plans.

21 staff have tested positive and are not working at the facility. 35 staff have tested negative. All staff caring for residents in self-isolation except for travel to and from work at the facility.

Residents in self-isolation in their rooms, and staff wearing full personal protective equipment.

APRIL 11 – 51 residents tested positive. 13 residents had died. 30 staff also tested positive and not working at the facility.

APRIL 15 -19 deaths. 73 out of 101 residents tested positive. 31 staff infected, and Anson scrambling to find extra workers, including paramedic students.

APRIL 18 – 3 more deaths, total 22. 19 in care centre and 3 in retirement home. Positive cases 70 residents with 49 from long term care centre and 21 in retirement residence.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association filed court injunctions against care homes operated by Rykka Care Centres LP on Thursday. This includes the Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville. In a different action, Service Employee International Union (SEIU) called for provincial oversight of Anson Place.

APRIL 22 – All but two deaths in the county are related to Anson Place, MOH tells Haldimand council. “It’s challenging to manage such an outbreak but we’re doing all we can.” A major factor in managing LTC and retirement homes is their architecture, he adds.

“Many were built a long time ago, and four beds in one large room separated by curtains, is common.“ LTCs also struggle with finding staff. Staff get sick. A number of staff who test positive show no symptoms, he said.

APRIL 28 – 27 deaths. Nesathurai receiving daily updates from senior administrators at Anson. Confident Anson Place has the staff it needs to contain the outbreak, and eventually roll it back.