Disease risk for nurses beyond duty of care of Ontario government: Court

Ontario government had no special duty of care to nurses during SARS crisis, Ontario Court of Appeal says in dismissing class action lawsuit
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 06/04/2009

The Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed a class action suit brought by registered nurses following the 2003 SARS outbreak in Ontario. Two nurses died and many fell ill from SARS after contracting it on the job while caring for patients during the outbreak.

The suit was filed by registered nurses because they felt proper precautions hadn’t been taken by the Ontario government, exposing nurses to unnecessary risks and the province failed in its duty of care to provide a safe workplace. The nurses claimed the provincial government assumed a legal obligation to watch out for their interests when it issued directives for medical care of suspected SARS cases aimed at controlling the spread of the disease.