Law firm looking at filing class-action lawsuit against Pickering's Orchard Villa

News May 08, 2020 by Keith Gilligan Pickering News Advertiser

DURHAM — A Toronto law firm is considering filing a class-action lawsuit against a Pickering seniors residence.

Gary Will, the managing partner of Will Davidson LLP, said his law firm has already launched a $20-million class action suit against a Niagara Falls long-term care home where 18 residents have died from COVID-19.

His firm is also looking at filing a suit against Orchard Villa Retirement Residence, which, according to the Ontario government, has had the most deaths for a facility in Ontario. As of Friday, May 8, there had been 68 deaths at the Pickering site, with 63 in the long-term care section and five in the retirement home.

“It sounds like they have a problem before COVID,” he said of Orchard Villa, pointing to a number of infractions in the years leading up to the pandemic. “It’s shocking and it merits a review.”

Once the virus gets into a long-term care home, “it’s almost impossible to stop it,” Will said.

What’s important is an early response, he added, noting homes that took early steps haven’t had any deaths.

Anyone wanting to enlist the firm’s help can visit its website at www.willdavidson.ca.

On Thursday, May 7, the minister of long-term care said the provincial government would hold a review into the staggering number of deaths in long-term care facilities during the pandemic.

Of the 137 deaths in Durham Region, about 86 per cent (118 fatalities) have been at long-term care homes or retirement homes.

Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, the minister of long-term care, noted in a tweet, “My heart breaks for the lives lost as a result of this pandemic. Our government has been clear: the system is broken. Long-term care has endured years of neglect. Once we emerge from this pandemic, we will get to the bottom of this. Yes, there will be a review.”

Some family members of residents at Orchard Villa are calling for an inquiry into the facility.

Linda Cottrell’s 93-year-old father, Manuel Marques, died at Orchard Villa on April 20. In a scathing eight-page letter, she outlined what happened to her father in the days leading up to his death.

“I hope the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will, through their investigation, discover what went wrong at Orchard Villa, and how their poor practices led to the death of at least 52 souls in such a short time. My dear dad was one of them, who had to die alone without the comfort of family and friends by his side. Losing a much-loved family member is horrible enough, but Orchard Villa made it a nightmare,” Cottrell said.

Metroland’s Durham Region Media Group asked each MPP in Durham if they support a review of Orchard Villa.

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French said, “Absolutely. As the Official Opposition, we’ve said we would support a public inquiry into the pandemic, with a focus on long-term care homes.”

As for Orchard Villa, she said, “We need to put eyes on it, but focus on the long-term care sector and how things unfolded. We support a full public inquiry across the sector. We need to be accountable for the families living through this nightmare.”

French expects changes will be coming to how seniors are cared for.

“It would have to. From what I’m hearing from front-line workers, it’s been a hard challenge. For the families, there has to be accountability and transparency in how seniors’ care is delivered.”

Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy said in an email, “Premier (Doug) Ford has been clear that the long-term care system is broken. Long-term care has endured years of neglect. Once we have emerged from this pandemic, we will get to the bottom of this issue. Yes, I do support a review of the long-term care sector. One will be conducted and all forms of review are on the table.”

He added the government’s focus right now is on the pandemic, so a review would have to wait.

“Our government moved to enable needed supports from Lakeridge Health to address infection control and resident care and has sought the support of the federal government and military personnel to assist at Orchard Villa. We will use every tool and resource available to address what is happening at this facility,” Bethlenfalvy added.

Durham MPP Lindsay Park said she also supports a review, while adding a link to Fullerton’s tweet.

Ajax MPP Rod Phillips said he would let Bethlenfalvy speak to the matter, while Whitby MPP Lorne Coe and Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott didn’t respond.

Law firm looking at filing class-action lawsuit against Pickering's Orchard Villa

Orchard Villa has highest death rate of residents in Ontario

News May 08, 2020 by Keith Gilligan Pickering News Advertiser

DURHAM — A Toronto law firm is considering filing a class-action lawsuit against a Pickering seniors residence.

Gary Will, the managing partner of Will Davidson LLP, said his law firm has already launched a $20-million class action suit against a Niagara Falls long-term care home where 18 residents have died from COVID-19.

His firm is also looking at filing a suit against Orchard Villa Retirement Residence, which, according to the Ontario government, has had the most deaths for a facility in Ontario. As of Friday, May 8, there had been 68 deaths at the Pickering site, with 63 in the long-term care section and five in the retirement home.

“It sounds like they have a problem before COVID,” he said of Orchard Villa, pointing to a number of infractions in the years leading up to the pandemic. “It’s shocking and it merits a review.”

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Once the virus gets into a long-term care home, “it’s almost impossible to stop it,” Will said.

What’s important is an early response, he added, noting homes that took early steps haven’t had any deaths.

Anyone wanting to enlist the firm’s help can visit its website at www.willdavidson.ca.

On Thursday, May 7, the minister of long-term care said the provincial government would hold a review into the staggering number of deaths in long-term care facilities during the pandemic.

Of the 137 deaths in Durham Region, about 86 per cent (118 fatalities) have been at long-term care homes or retirement homes.

Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, the minister of long-term care, noted in a tweet, “My heart breaks for the lives lost as a result of this pandemic. Our government has been clear: the system is broken. Long-term care has endured years of neglect. Once we emerge from this pandemic, we will get to the bottom of this. Yes, there will be a review.”

Some family members of residents at Orchard Villa are calling for an inquiry into the facility.

Linda Cottrell’s 93-year-old father, Manuel Marques, died at Orchard Villa on April 20. In a scathing eight-page letter, she outlined what happened to her father in the days leading up to his death.

“I hope the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will, through their investigation, discover what went wrong at Orchard Villa, and how their poor practices led to the death of at least 52 souls in such a short time. My dear dad was one of them, who had to die alone without the comfort of family and friends by his side. Losing a much-loved family member is horrible enough, but Orchard Villa made it a nightmare,” Cottrell said.

Metroland’s Durham Region Media Group asked each MPP in Durham if they support a review of Orchard Villa.

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French said, “Absolutely. As the Official Opposition, we’ve said we would support a public inquiry into the pandemic, with a focus on long-term care homes.”

As for Orchard Villa, she said, “We need to put eyes on it, but focus on the long-term care sector and how things unfolded. We support a full public inquiry across the sector. We need to be accountable for the families living through this nightmare.”

French expects changes will be coming to how seniors are cared for.

“It would have to. From what I’m hearing from front-line workers, it’s been a hard challenge. For the families, there has to be accountability and transparency in how seniors’ care is delivered.”

Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy said in an email, “Premier (Doug) Ford has been clear that the long-term care system is broken. Long-term care has endured years of neglect. Once we have emerged from this pandemic, we will get to the bottom of this issue. Yes, I do support a review of the long-term care sector. One will be conducted and all forms of review are on the table.”

He added the government’s focus right now is on the pandemic, so a review would have to wait.

“Our government moved to enable needed supports from Lakeridge Health to address infection control and resident care and has sought the support of the federal government and military personnel to assist at Orchard Villa. We will use every tool and resource available to address what is happening at this facility,” Bethlenfalvy added.

Durham MPP Lindsay Park said she also supports a review, while adding a link to Fullerton’s tweet.

Ajax MPP Rod Phillips said he would let Bethlenfalvy speak to the matter, while Whitby MPP Lorne Coe and Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott didn’t respond.

Law firm looking at filing class-action lawsuit against Pickering's Orchard Villa

Orchard Villa has highest death rate of residents in Ontario

News May 08, 2020 by Keith Gilligan Pickering News Advertiser

DURHAM — A Toronto law firm is considering filing a class-action lawsuit against a Pickering seniors residence.

Gary Will, the managing partner of Will Davidson LLP, said his law firm has already launched a $20-million class action suit against a Niagara Falls long-term care home where 18 residents have died from COVID-19.

His firm is also looking at filing a suit against Orchard Villa Retirement Residence, which, according to the Ontario government, has had the most deaths for a facility in Ontario. As of Friday, May 8, there had been 68 deaths at the Pickering site, with 63 in the long-term care section and five in the retirement home.

“It sounds like they have a problem before COVID,” he said of Orchard Villa, pointing to a number of infractions in the years leading up to the pandemic. “It’s shocking and it merits a review.”

Related Content

Once the virus gets into a long-term care home, “it’s almost impossible to stop it,” Will said.

What’s important is an early response, he added, noting homes that took early steps haven’t had any deaths.

Anyone wanting to enlist the firm’s help can visit its website at www.willdavidson.ca.

On Thursday, May 7, the minister of long-term care said the provincial government would hold a review into the staggering number of deaths in long-term care facilities during the pandemic.

Of the 137 deaths in Durham Region, about 86 per cent (118 fatalities) have been at long-term care homes or retirement homes.

Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, the minister of long-term care, noted in a tweet, “My heart breaks for the lives lost as a result of this pandemic. Our government has been clear: the system is broken. Long-term care has endured years of neglect. Once we emerge from this pandemic, we will get to the bottom of this. Yes, there will be a review.”

Some family members of residents at Orchard Villa are calling for an inquiry into the facility.

Linda Cottrell’s 93-year-old father, Manuel Marques, died at Orchard Villa on April 20. In a scathing eight-page letter, she outlined what happened to her father in the days leading up to his death.

“I hope the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will, through their investigation, discover what went wrong at Orchard Villa, and how their poor practices led to the death of at least 52 souls in such a short time. My dear dad was one of them, who had to die alone without the comfort of family and friends by his side. Losing a much-loved family member is horrible enough, but Orchard Villa made it a nightmare,” Cottrell said.

Metroland’s Durham Region Media Group asked each MPP in Durham if they support a review of Orchard Villa.

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French said, “Absolutely. As the Official Opposition, we’ve said we would support a public inquiry into the pandemic, with a focus on long-term care homes.”

As for Orchard Villa, she said, “We need to put eyes on it, but focus on the long-term care sector and how things unfolded. We support a full public inquiry across the sector. We need to be accountable for the families living through this nightmare.”

French expects changes will be coming to how seniors are cared for.

“It would have to. From what I’m hearing from front-line workers, it’s been a hard challenge. For the families, there has to be accountability and transparency in how seniors’ care is delivered.”

Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy said in an email, “Premier (Doug) Ford has been clear that the long-term care system is broken. Long-term care has endured years of neglect. Once we have emerged from this pandemic, we will get to the bottom of this issue. Yes, I do support a review of the long-term care sector. One will be conducted and all forms of review are on the table.”

He added the government’s focus right now is on the pandemic, so a review would have to wait.

“Our government moved to enable needed supports from Lakeridge Health to address infection control and resident care and has sought the support of the federal government and military personnel to assist at Orchard Villa. We will use every tool and resource available to address what is happening at this facility,” Bethlenfalvy added.

Durham MPP Lindsay Park said she also supports a review, while adding a link to Fullerton’s tweet.

Ajax MPP Rod Phillips said he would let Bethlenfalvy speak to the matter, while Whitby MPP Lorne Coe and Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott didn’t respond.