Alberta seniors can sue province over nursing home costs: Supreme Court
(The Canadian Press) – 15 hours ago
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has given a partial legal victory to a group of seniors who want to file a class-action suit against the Alberta government.
The suit involves claims of overcharging in nursing homes.
In the 9-0 decision, the justices say the class-action suit cannot include claims of breach of fiduciary duty, bad faith or negligence.
However, the court says the suit can proceed on other grounds, including a claim of unjust enrichment.
The province doesn't run any long-term care facilities itself, but does set a maximum rate which nursing homes can charge for food and accommodation.
The seniors say the government artificially inflated the accommodation charges to subsidize the cost of medical expenses.
The lobby group Friends of Medicare declared the ruling a victory.
"This ruling should serve as a wake-up call for Alberta Health and Wellness to start providing the affordable long-term care services that our province so desperately needs," said spokesman David Eggen.
"This government's long-term care policy has been destructive, and now it's one step closer to being illegal. It's too bad you have to sue this government to force them to do the right thing