Some of the affidavits filed come from family members of Casa Loma and Comox Valley Seniors Village residents in Courtenay, along with other homes on Vancouver Island. The case started over care in a Chilliwack home. Black Press file photo

Some of the affidavits filed come from family members of Casa Loma and Comox Valley Seniors Village residents in Courtenay, along with other homes on Vancouver Island. The case started over care in a Chilliwack home. Black Press file photo

Seniors’ homes on Island included in class action suit

Plaintiffs applying for class certification have to amend their submissions

The applicants in a civil suit against the company that operates a number of seniors’ homes and the provincial government will have to amend their submissions.

The plaintiffs launched their case against PR Seniors Housing Management Ltd., doing business as Retirement Concepts, Cedar Tree Investment Canada Inc., as well as against the province’s Ministry of Health.

“The plaintiffs claim that Retirement Concepts and Cedar Tree Investment Canada Ltd. abused, mistreated and/or neglected residents of their care homes in British Columbia and that the Province failed to supervise the care homes by failing to inspect and licence the facilities and permitting the contracting out of care services,” Madam Justice Catherine Murray’s wrote in her May 3 decision.

The hearings were held last September in Victoria.

In response to the claims, the defendants have objected to parts of several affidavits as hearsay, opinion or as being identical to other affidavits. For now, the evidence is part of a preliminary application for certification in a class action suit against the defendants. A provincial government website section covering legal matters defines the class certification process in a civil matter: “A resident of British Columbia who is a member of a class of persons may commence a proceeding in the court on behalf of the members of that class.”

In this case, the plaintiffs are applying to represent the residents of several homes. Erwin Huebner and Krista Kilvert are siblings whose mother lived at one of the homes in Chilliwack but passed away in October 2017.

RELATED STORY: Class action lawsuit filed against largest seniors care provider in B.C.

The homes in question include the one in Chilliwack and others in Courtenay, Nanaimo, Victoria and Qualicum Beach.

The issue at this point for Justice Murray was to determine whether the plaintiffs’ affidavits to support their certification application should be struck in part or in whole. Some pieces of information, including media stories, Justice Murray deemed to be hearsay and inadmissible. She also found certain statements in plaintiffs’ submissions to be inadmissible. Other pieces of evidence, such as inspection reports into conditions at facilities, were seen as admissible. Because of the large number of specific points, the judge included a table outlining each matter.

Murray allowed the plaintiffs to amend their submissions in response to the ruling to address the shortcomings. In general, the weight of the evidence will be determined at the actual certification hearing after full submissions have been made.

The legal process began when the initial plaintiffs served the defendants their notice of claim in January 2019. Initially, they filed three affidavits, but in February 2020 the notice of application was amended to add 24 more affidavits comprised of thousands of pages. Along with those from residents’ families, there are a few from former staff members at the Chilliwack facility and a volunteer seniors’ advocate in the Comox Valley.

seniors housing

Just Posted

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

A section of proposed Harbourfront Walkway between White Eagle Terrace and Battersea Road. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo’s proposed walkway extension project estimated at $25-30 million

City asking for feedback on concepts to connect Departure Bay Beach and ferry terminal

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Most Read