Hamilton and 2 area homes named in sweeping class action suit about COVID-19

Hamilton is named in a new prospective lawsuit on behalf of some victims who've died with COVID-19. So are Royal Rose Place in Welland and Anson Place in Hagersville.

The claim also names the province and several long-term care providers

A new class action suit filed by Diamond and Diamond names the City of Hamilton, Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville and Royal Rose Place in Welland, among others. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Hamilton is named in a new prospective lawsuit on behalf of some victims who've died with COVID-19.

Diamond and Diamond Lawyers say they've filed a class action suit related to what they call "avoidable negligence."

The $500-million suit includes long-term care providers Chartwell, Extendicare and Sienna, as well as the province and several municipalities, including Toronto, Essex, Ottawa and Hamilton.

"The municipalities are named because there are individual homes the municipality operates," Darryl Singer, who is the head of Diamond and Diamond's class actions group, said in an interview.

More than 11 long-term care homes are named, including Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville and Royal Rose Place in Welland.

None of the claims have been tested in court, and CBC News is pursuing comment from the long-term care homes in Niagara and Haldimand. 

Danielle Kennedy, executive director at Anson Place Care Centre said she has "no knowledge of this class action lawsuit, or what has been brought forward."

Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger offered a similar response on Wednesday and said he was waiting for advice from legal counsel.

"Clearly, we will defend," he said.

Singer said no statements of defence have been filed and the statement of claim hasn't been certified. But all parties have appointed counsel and are case conferencing to streamline the process, he said.

A "very experienced class action judge" is managing the case, he said.

In a media release, the firm said the class action "is brought forth on behalf of all persons who have lived, or are currently living, at one of the named residences, and also names multiple homes owned by parent company Chartwell. The size of the plaintiff class is growing hourly." 

The plaintiffs allege that the facilities lacked both proper sanitation protocols and adequate testing, the release says. It also alleges that measures to keep residents safe were not properly disseminated to residents and their families.