Class Action Commenced Against Woodbridge Vista Care Community
June 15, 2020
Thomson Rogers has issued a class action proceeding claiming $15 million in damages on behalf of residents of Woodbridge Vista Care Community and their families.
Woodbridge Vista is a long-term care home owned by Sienna Senior Living Inc., located in Woodbridge, Ontario. In recent weeks, dozens of residents at Woodbridge Vista have died as a result of contracting COVID-19 and related illnesses and neglect.
One of the representative plaintiffs is Lucia Fracassi. Lucia’s mother, Carmela Colalillo, was a resident at Woodbridge Vista. Mrs. Colalillo died while residing at Woodbridge Vista on May 25, 2020.
Another representative plaintiff is Carmela Bilotta, who is represented by her son John Bilotta. Mrs. Bilotta was a resident at Woodbridge Vista until she was suddenly transported to hospital with 18 other residents on May 31, 2020 after contracting COVID-19.
During a virtual meeting with families of Woodbridge Vista residents on June 3, 2020, Sienna’s Executive Vice President of Operations, Joanne Dykeman, made disparaging and mocking comments about Woodbridge Vista residents and their family members. On June 4, 2020, Ms. Dykeman was dismissed from her employment.
On June 5, 2020, the Ontario government appointed William Osler Health System as interim manager of Woodbridge Vista, thereby removing control of the facility from Sienna.
On or about June 7, 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces were deployed to Woodbridge Vista to assist in the provision of care.
On June 12, 2020, the president and CEO of Sienna, Lois Cormack, resigned from her position.
“This is the second action Thomson Rogers has advanced on behalf of residents at a Sienna Senior Living facility. The reported conditions at Woodbridge Vista and the Altamont Care facilities are appalling,” said Stephen Birman, a partner involved in both class actions. “As a community we trust these facilities to take care of our loved ones with an expectation that the needs of our most vulnerable are looked after.”
In addition to the class action on behalf of resident survivors and victims, Thomson Rogers has contacted the offices of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford to insist that taxpayers are not required to pay the significant costs associated with the Canadian Armed Forces deployment and William Osler Health System’s involvement at the Sienna facilities.
“These costs should be fully reimbursed by Sienna and not shouldered by the taxpayers of Ontario and Canada”, said Stephen Birman.
Lucia, Carmela, John and their families, as well as other families of the victims and survivors of Woodbridge Vista, seek compensation for their tragic losses. In addition, they support the proposed independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system, which they hope will result in meaningful change to ensure that a tragedy like this is never repeated in Ontario’s vulnerable long-term care population.
- ‘We failed them’ Report criticizes Canada’s long-term care system before and during COVID-19 (nationalpost.com)
- ‘Righteous rage’: Woodbridge families share pain, anger after COVID-19 crisis (yorkregion.com)
- Famiglie che vogliono portare i responsabili della gestione di alcune case di cura di lungodegenza private sul banco degli imputati (omnitv.ca)
- Woodbridge Vista, azioni legale per cattiva gestione delle residenze per anziani (omnitv.ca)
- Ontario considers ‘good faith’ immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits (cbc.ca)
- They died in seniors homes gripped by COVID-19. Now, Doug Ford may close a key avenue their mourners have for justice (thestar.com)
- Stephen Birman Interviewed on 640 Toronto By Kelly Cutrara (640 Toronto)
- Families sue Woodbridge Vista alleging long-term care home put profit ahead of residents (yorkregion.com)
- Staff shortages, inadequate procedures led to spread of COVID-19 at Ontario nursing home, $15M lawsuit alleges (ctvnews.ca)