SARS nurses sue Canadian govt
From correspondents in Toronto
March 26, 2004
A GROUP of 30 Canadian nurses who contracted SARS during last year's outbreak of the deadly disease is suing the province of Ontario for $US150 million ($201.9 million), the Ontario Nurses' Association announced today.
The nurses claim the Ontario government failed to properly enforce occupational health and safety standards in hospitals, and say the province breached their rights to "life, liberty and security of the person".
The legal action to begin today was not a class action suit, the association said. The allegations have not been proven in court, and the provincial government has not yet had the opportunity to defend itself.
One of the nurses in the group to be represented in the lawsuit died of the disease. The $US150 million being sought would be split among the 29 nurses and their 40 family members, said Linda Haslam-Stroud, head of the Ontario Nurses' Association, which represents 48,000 registered nurses. "Each of the nurses in this action has been severely impacted by SARS," Haslam-Stroud said. "The Ontario government is responsible because the government instituted workplace safety precautions that were inadequate, and did not properly protect the nurses."
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