Doug Ford Defends Law That Makes It Harder To Sue For COVID-19 Exposure

Emma Paling
·2-min read
Ontario Premier Doug Ford walks to a press conference at Queen's Park on Oct. 2, 2020.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford walks to a press conference at Queen's Park on Oct. 2, 2020.

TORONTO — People who are angry about a proposed bill to protect businesses against COVID-19-related lawsuits should “talk to their lawyer … rather than just read the headlines,” Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday.

“This does not protect the long-term care homes 100 per cent, by any means,” he said. “If there has been gross negligence or negligence, continue suing them. They will be held accountable.”

His government introduced Bill 218 Monday. It shields people who act in “good faith” and without “gross negligence,” from being sued for exposing others to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

More than 1,980 long-term care residents have died with COVID-19 in Ontario.

Watch Premier Doug Ford’s tribute to Kathleen Wynne. Story continues after video.

Families and care home workers allege that some homes let COVID-19-positive residents stay in shared rooms, denied oxygen to infected residents, and allowed staff to go back and forth between homes that had outbreaks and the ones that didn’t.

Ford said his government does not want to protect bad actors, but rather business people, like convenience store owners, who took the necessary precautions.

I’ve been on these guys like an 800-pound gorilla.Premier Doug Ford

He laughed off a question about whether he was protecting people in the industry who have ties to his Progressive Conservative party.

“I’ve been out here just hammering the people that have been negligent in long-term care. I’ve been on these guys like an 800-pound gorilla,” he said.

Darryl Singer is a lawyer with Diamond and Diamond who’s filed three major lawsuits against long-term care operators related to COVID-19.

Despite the “higher threshold,” created by this law, Singer said he expects his lawsuits to be successful.

“All it really does is it raises the standard of what negligence really is,” he told HuffPost Canada.

Singer gave the example of homes that allegedly did not isolate residents who had symptoms...

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