Legionnaires Class Action
UPDATE - April 15, 2009
In a decision released on April 15, 2009, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified this case as a class proceeding. The hearing was held in September 2008. This class proceeding involves the outbreak of Legionnaires disease at Seven Oaks Home for the Aged in Toronto. The Seven Oaks facility is owned and operated by the City of Toronto. The lawsuit seeks damages from the City of Toronto for failing to prevent the spread of Legionnaires disease at Seven Oaks. The lawsuit also seeks damages from the province of Ontario for failing to identify the cause of the outbreak in a timely manner.
Rochon Genova LLP, together with the law firms of Sutts Strosberg LLP and Hotz Lawyers are counsel in a class action commenced by statement of claim on behalf of all persons (except employees of the City of Toronto) who were exposed to Legionnaires' Disease, Pontiac Fever, or contracted either one due to the outbreak of disease at Seven Oaks Home for the Aged ("Seven Oaks") in Scarborough. The class action names the City of Toronto and the province of Ontario (Ministry of Health and Long Term Care) as defendants. It alleges that the City of Toronto was negligent in the design and maintenance of the air conditioning system, and that the province was negligent in testing for the disease.
Legionnaires' Disease is a bacterial pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophilia. It is not spread person to person, but is caused when people inhale mist or water droplets from a source that contains high concentrations of Legionella. Pontiac Fever is a milder, non-pneumonia infection with Legionella.
Between September 1, 2005 when the first residents fell ill, until October 13, 2005 (the "Class Period") when the outbreak was contained, approximately 135 people had contracted Legionnaires' Disease and 23 people died, including residents, visitors and staff members.
The certification motion was argued in Toronto on September 16-18, 2008. The motions judge reserved and will deliver her reasons on a later date.