Manitoba

Woman sues Winnipeg nursing home, alleges negligence resulted in mother's death

A woman is suing one of Canada's largest private nursing home providers after the death of her 83-year-old mother, alleging a brain bleed was ignored by staff at a Winnipeg nursing home.

Lawsuit alleges 83-year-old woman's brain bleed was ignored at Kildonan Personal Care Home

A Winnipeg woman filed a lawsuit alleging her mother was neglected at a Kildonan nursing home. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

A woman is suing one of Canada's largest private nursing home providers after the death of her 83-year-old mother, alleging a brain bleed was ignored by staff at a Winnipeg nursing home.

Jody Mancusi alleges in the lawsuit against Revera Inc. that her mother, Iris Burke, died due to the "negligence and deficiencies" in the care that was provided to Burke at Kildonan Personal Care Home.

The lawsuit filed June 26, 2020, at Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench says Mancusi noticed her mother acting strangely and notified staff on June 15, 2018.

Burke had been living at the Henderson Highway home — which is owned and operated by Revera — since early 2017.

When Mancusi flagged to staff that her mother was behaving oddly, she was ignored, according to the lawsuit. Burke had previously suffered a stroke in 2009, and her daughter was worried the odd behaviour could be a sign of another stroke.

"The staff at the home did not take Jody's complaints seriously. They ignored the changing behaviour of the plaintiff and took no steps to ensure she received appropriate treatment," the suit states.

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Eleven days later, Burke was found unresponsive in her bed. The suit alleges that when she was brought to the hospital, a brain bleed the size of a golf ball was discovered.

She died on June 30, 2018, from the brain bleed, the suit states.

Mancusi and her mother's estate are seeking $1.75 million in damages, including punitive damages due to "the egregious, outrageous and unlawful conduct of the defendants."

"The defendants are well aware that their drive to maximize corporate profits comes at a cost of poor resident care, injuries, serious pain and suffering and premature, painful death to the residents of the Revera nursing home," the suit states.

Mass tort started in 2019

The suit names Revera Inc. and its various subsidiaries, along with five unnamed doctors and 10 unnamed personal support workers and nurses.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed.

In a written response, a spokesperson for Revera said they could not discuss Burke's care due to privacy.

The spokesperson said the company is "committed to providing a safe, caring and supportive environment in which all our residents are treated with dignity and respect."

The lawsuit is just one of many filed against Revera as part of a mass tort started in early 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

It originally began as a proposed class-action lawsuit, but the application was discontinued in favour of instead pursuing a mass tort — a civil action involving multiple plaintiffs, but not involving a class representative. That means each family has a separate lawsuit against Revera, but the cases will be dealt with as a group.

Nearly 100 separate lawsuits have been filed by families across the country. The cases will be dealt with as a group represented by Howie Sacks & Henry LLP and other lawyers attached to separate suits.

Five other lawsuits against Revera were filed last year in Manitoba as part of the mass tort.

Revera is a privately held care home company with 500 seniors' living facilities across Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. — including 12 in Manitoba and more than 100 in Ontario.

About the Author

Kristin Annable is a member of CBC's investigative unit based in Winnipeg. She can be reached at kristin.annable@cbc.ca

With files from Bryce Hoye

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