Montreal

Class-action lawsuit over Legionnaires' outbreak in Quebec City has green light

A Quebec court has given the go-ahead to a class-action lawsuit against public health officials in Quebec City which claims authorities were too slow to act to stop the spread of Legionnaires' bacteria in 2012.

Outbreak in 2012 killed 14 people and left 167 others sick

Complexe Jacques-Cartier in Quebec City was the source of the Legionnaires' outbreak that killed 14 people and made 167 others sick. (CBC)

A class-action lawsuit by the families of people who died or fell ill during an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease has been given the green light.

The lawsuit against public health officials in Quebec City claims authorities were too slow to act.

Filed last June, the suit is claiming $50,000 for people who fell ill, $140,000 for surviving spouses and $30,000 for the deceased victims' children.

The 2012 outbreak in Quebec City killed 14 people, and 181 others became ill from bacteria that was found to be in a cooling tower of a downtown office building.

The lawsuit alleges public health director François Desbiens failed to inform the public quickly enough about the outbreak.

It cites the building's owner, the CSQ union federation, for failing to properly clean its cooling towers.

It also says the government failed to prevent the outbreak because it did not act on recommendations following a smaller outbreak in 1996.

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