Class action sought against Quebec nursing home where 31 residents perished


MONTREAL — An application for a class action lawsuit has been filed against a private long-term care home in suburban Montreal where 31 residents reportedly died in less than a month during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit filed Thursday is brought on behalf of Barbara Schneider, the daughter of Mary Schneider, who died at the Residence Herron on April 10 after arriving there just months earlier.

Lawyer Arthur Weschler of law firm Kugler Kandestin says the lawsuit, which hasn’t been authorized yet, seeks compensation for three groups — the estates of the deceased, current residents and immediate family members.

It seeks $25,000 on behalf of residents who died and those still in the facility in Dorval, Que., as well as $10,000 per family member.

The filing seeks an additional $2 million in punitive damages for estates and residents for allegedly failing to respect the residents’ rights to personal security and dignity protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Residence Herron is now the subject of three separate investigations — a criminal probe led by Montreal police, a coroner’s investigation and another led by the provincial Health Department.

In a statement issued this week, Katherine Chowieri, one of the owners of the residence, said management and staff “made extraordinary efforts, but their cries for help were not heard” by the regional health board.