Inquest begins into Iqaluit woman's death
A coroner's inquest has begun into the death of Elisapee Michael, an Iqaluit woman who fell from the steps of a local hotel in 2009.
Michael, 52, died of head injuries on Aug. 13, 2009, several days after she had fallen from the front steps of the Nova Inn in Iqaluit.
A jury of two men and four women was chosen on Monday morning to hear evidence in the inquest, which could last over a week.
Up to 20 witnesses are expected to be called. After hearing all the testimony, the inquest panel will be expected to issue recommendations to prevent a similar death from happening.
Michael was taken to the emergency room at Qikiqtani General Hospital after the fall. But according to her family, Michael was transferred into RCMP custody after hospital staff allegedly deemed her to be intoxicated and disruptive.
Michael spent about 14 hours in an RCMP holding cell before police found Michael in distress on the floor of the cell. She was flown to an Ottawa hospital, where she later died.
Lawyers representing the RCMP, Michael's family, and hospital doctors were all present as the inquest began.
Garth Eggenberger, a Northwest Territories-based coroner who is presiding over the inquest, told the jury to expect a lot of testimony by video conference because there has been a lot of staff turnover at Qikiqtani General Hospital.