Little v. Regional Health Authority B
New Brunswick Supreme Court File: N/C/93/2013
In cooperation with Chesley F. Crosbie, Q.C. of St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Wagners Law Firm is investigating the recent announcement that nearly 2,500 women may have a risk of infection of Hepatitis and/or HIV as a result of the use of unsterilized forceps which were used at the Miramichi Regional Hospital in New Brunswick.
On August 28, 2013, The Horizon Health Network of New Brunswick announced that 2,497 female patients who had biopsies performed in the colposcopy clinic at the Miramichi Regional Hospital may now be at risk of infections due to the lack of care in following appropriate sterilization methods. From May 1999 to May 24, 2013, approximately 14 years, the forceps used by the Hospital did not meet the 50 year old sterilization standards recognized in Canada and the United States.
Horizon announced that the patients who underwent biopsies during the time frame in question will be advised of the risk and the health authority will suggest that blood tests be performed to determine if any infections may have resulted. During a press conference, representatives of Horizon indicated that the risk of infection was small, however it remains to be seen if this position will be borne out once the tests have been completed.
The forceps were put through a process to eliminate any germs or bacteria, however the Miramichi Regional Hospital utilized a disinfection procedure instead of the recognized and accepted practice of sterilization. Disinfection kills MOST germs whereas sterilization is used to kill ALL forms of germs.
The Horizon Health Network only recently came to the conclusion that they should disclose this serious breach of medical care and advise the patients of the potential for exposure. It remains unclear why it took 3 months for Horizon to come to the conclusion to disclose the error. Nor is any disciplinary action considered against the employee who was responsible for the lax procedures used on the forceps.
This incident involving the Miramichi Regional Hospital comes 5 years after the pathology errors as a result of improper reading of slides by Dr. Rajgopal Menon. Wagners and Mr. Crosbie have commenced a class action in relation to the pathology scandal.
We are continuing our investigation into the sub-standard sterilization practices used at the hospital. If you or a family member have received a letter from Horizon indicating that you may have been exposed to Hepatitis B or C, HIV, you may contact Mr. Wagner or Mr. Crosbie to discuss the situation further.
Update – December 8, 2017
Update – April 27, 2016
A copy of the Certification Order which has now been signed by the Honourable Justice Ouellette is available for viewing under the Court Documents tab along with the Notice of Certification (English & French), Opt-Out and Opt-In forms.
We suggest that all Class Members take a moment to read the Order and associated documents so that they are familiar with their legal rights concerning the class proceeding.
The deadline for individuals wishing to opt-out or opt-in to the class action is July 1, 2016. Wagners must receive any completed opt-out or opt-in forms on or before this date.
If you reside in New Brunswick and wish to be involved in the class action, you are not required to do anything further at this time although you may wish to download our Registration Form and send to us so that we register you in our database.
If you reside in New Brunswick and do not wish to be involved in the class action, you must complete and return an Opt-Out form indicating that you wish to be removed as a class member. The form must be received by Wagners on or before July 1, 2016
If you do not reside in New Brunswick and wish to be considered and registered as a class member, you must complete and return an Opt-In form indicating that you wish to be added as a class member. This form must also be received by Wagners on or before July 1, 2016
Please contact us if you have any questions about the process to join or leave the class action.
Update – March 11, 2016
Further to discussions with Counsel for the Defendant, an agreement has been reached with respect to a schedule for preliminary matters prior to the hearing of the Common Issues trial which has yet to be scheduled.
- May 27, 2016 – Date for production of all Affidavit of Documents;
- August 15-17, 2016 – Date for Discovery Examinations;
- December 15, 2016 – Date for the filing of all expert reports.
- May 27, 2016 – Date for production of all Affidavit of Documents;
Update – March 3, 2016
On today’s date, we received a copy of Justice Ouellette’s written decision with respect to certification.
The decision may be viewed under the Court Documents tab.
Update – February 26, 2016
On yesterday’s date, Raymond Wagner appeared before the Hoinourable Justice Ouellette to receive His Lordship’s decision with respect to the certification of the Miramichi Forceps Sterilization class action.
As counsel reached an agreement on certification by consent, Justice Ouellette provided an oral decision with a written decision to follow.
The Plaintiff’s Second Amended Statement of Claim was also accepted for filing. The Defendant also filed an Amended Defence to the revised claim.
Copies of the amended Claim, the Order allowing for the filing of same and the amended Defence are available for viewing under the Court Documents tab.
Update – February 18, 2016
All Counsel have filed their Briefs with respect to the certification hearing scheduled for February 25, 2016 before the Honourable Justice Ouellette. The Plaintiff has also provided the Court with a Consent Order allowing for the filing of the Second Amended Statement of Claim.
Copies of the Certification Briefs are available for viewing under the Court Documents tab.
Update – February 11, 2016
We have been advised by the Clerk of the Court that the Honourable Justice Ouellette has agreed to extend the filing of all documents with respect to the amendment of the claim and the motion for certification.
All documents will be filed on or before February 18, 2016.
Update – January 11, 2016
The cross examinations will be held on January 22, 2016. Efforts are continuing in refining the issues leading up to the motion for certification.
Update – December 3, 2015
We are currently discussing convenient dates with Counsel for the Defendant in effort to hold cross examinations of the affiants with respect to the Plaintiff’s motion for certification.
Update – August 27, 2015
On today’s date, Wagners provided its documents in support of the motion for certification to opposing counsel and to the clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Miramichi.
The documents are available for viewing under the Court Documents tab.
Update – June 4, 2015
Further to all Counsels’ appearance before Justice Ouellette at the Case Management Conference held on June 2, 2015, the following schedule and deadlines concerning the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Certification have been implemented:
- August 31, 2015 – Notice of Motion re: Certification
- November 16, 2015 – Defendant’s Affidavits
- November 27, 2015 – Plaintiffs’ Reply
- January 29, 2016 – Completion of Cross-Examinations
- February 15, 2016 – All Briefs
- February 24, 25 & 26, 2016 – Hearing of Certification Motion
Update – October 31, 2014
Wagners has sent correspondence today to the Clerk of the Court requesting that a Case Management meeting be scheduled before Justice Ouellette.
Update – October 1, 2014
Correspondence was received on today’s date from the Clerk of the Court enclosing an Order appointing a Case Management Judge to oversee this class action.
The Honourable Justice Jean-Paul Ouellette has been assigned to the case. A copy of the Order may be found under the Court Documents tab.
Update – July 16, 2014
A copy of the Defence filed by Regional Health Authority B may be found under the Court Documents tab.
At this time we are awaiting the appointment of a Case Management Judge to oversee this proceeding. Once a judge has been assigned a Case Management Conference will be scheduled to discuss the future direction of this matter.
Update – March 3, 2014
Recent updates from November and January with respect to this class action have been posted below.
Update – January 29, 2014
Our Answer to Demand for Particulars was sent to the Solicitor for the Defendant on today’s date.
Update – January 6, 2014
The Defendant served a Demand for Particulars on the Plaintiff today.
A copy of the Demand may be viewed under the Court Documents tab.
Update – November 19, 2013
An Amended Notice of Action and Statement of Claim was filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench in the judicial district of Miramichi, New Brunswick on today’s date.
Update – November 4, 2013
On October 21, 2013, a Notice of Action and Statement of Claim was filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench in the judicial district of Miramichi, New Brunswick.
The pleading may be viewed under the Court Documents tab in PDF format.
Update – October 25, 2013
A Registration Form for this proposed class action may be obtained under the Registration tab. The form is provided in both Word and PDF formats.
The following documents concerning the class action which has been filed by Wagners in relation to the improper sterilization of forceps carried out at the Miramichi Regional Hospital in New Brunswick are available for viewing in PDF format:
- December 8, 2017 – Notice of Settlement Approval Hearing ENGLISH
- December 8, 2017 – Notice of Settlement Approval Hearing FRENCH
- April 21, 2016 – Notice of Certification (FRE)
- April 21, 2016 – Notice of Certification (ENG)
- April 21, 2016 – Order re: Certification
- February 25, 2016 – Decision re: Certification
- February 25, 2016 – Second Amended Statement of Claim
- September 30, 2014 – Order re: Case Management Judge
- November 19, 2013 – Amended Statement of Claim
- October 21, 2013 – Notice of Action & Statement of Claim
We are presently accepting enquiries from individuals who have received correspondence from Horizon Health Network of New Brunswick with respect to possible risk of infection due to exposure to unsterilized forceps used at the Miramichi Hospital from 1999 to May 24, 2013.
If you, or a member of your family, have received a letter from Horizon indicating that you may have been exposed to Hepatitis B or C, HIV, you may be eligible for inclusion as a Class Member in our proposed class action lawsuit.
To sign up and determine if you qualify, please fill out this registration form: