Healthcare provider Paramed Inc. faces McKenzie Lake class action over infection control lapses
A CLASS ACTION lawsuit against healthcare provider Paramed Inc., alleging poor infection control practices, is going forward after being certified last fall, London law firm McKenzie Lake announced last week.
The lawsuit stems from a decade-long lapse in infection prevention practices first identified by the Middlesex-London Health Unit in 2018 at Paramed’s London locations. In 2018, the health unit advised 880 Paramed patients to get precautionary blood testing after health inspectors identified “inadequate cleaning of devices used in wound-care services,” as well as tools being reused without proper sterilization, between 2008 and 2018, according to the Canadian Press.
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“The claim alleges the method used to clean and disinfect medical devices used by Paramed Inc. at its London clinics was grossly inadequate as the medical devices were not sterilized or high level disinfected after each use,” reads a McKenzie Lake press release announcing the certification, which was officially granted last September. “The class action seeks damages for invasion of bodily integrity by reason of blood testing, severe mental and/or emotional distress, psychological trauma, and/or nervous shock.”
As a result of the lapse, patients were told to seek testing for hepatitis and HIV. In 2018, the associate medical officer of health, Dr. Alex Summers, maintained that for the most part there was only a small risk of infection. “Although the risk in this situation is not zero,” he said, “it is very low.”
The class includes patients of Paramed’s clinics at 124 Barker Street, 1340 Huron Street and 148 Fullarton Street between 2008 and mid-2018, all of whom were among the 880 people initially contacted by the company in 2018. Their inclusion is automatic, the company says; those who wish to opt-out of the class are free to do so. Kieran Delamont