SARS nurses sue Canadian govt

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    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."

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/common/story_...5E1702,00.html
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  4. 2 Comments so far...

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    I have some very mixed feelings about this one. I don't think we were protected enough, but I think a 500 million dollar lawsuit makes them look money hungry. Canadians are not as approving of lawsuits in healthcare as Americans.
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    I can empathize with how those nurses and their families might feel, especially after you mentioned here, Fergus, that nurses were frequently told extra precautions were not needed.

    Sometimes I get angry too when I see how the bureaucrats prioritize. In the coverage of the SARS epidemic, I sensed worker safety and containment seems less important than preventing panic and loss of commerce, IMO, and we see this in America too. Add political correctness and we see HIPAA, which IMO further restricts healthcare worker's ability to protect themselves thru knowledge of their patient's diagnoses.

    I for one wish those nurses and their families good luck...fighting government bureaucrats is not easy, but they do need to realize how their decisions impact groups of citizens. When those citizens die or are injured because of their decisions, lawsuits are justified IMO.


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