Health Care/Nursing Homes

Morrison Estate v. Attorney General of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Supreme Court File: Hfx No. 230887  

On November 30, 2007, Wagners filed an Amended Statement of Claim in relation to a proposed common law class proceeding in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. The original Statement of Claim was filed on September 8, 2005. The proposed class action is filed on behalf of residents and family members of residents of nursing homes in Nova Scotia who were required to pay for the health care costs of residents in nursing homes in Nova Scotia on a private pay basis between February 1, 2001 and January 1, 2005.

In the period between February 1, 2001 and January 1, 2005 people seeking admission to nursing homes in Nova Scotia were required by the Nova Scotia Department of Health to submit to a mandatory financial assessment to facilitate their admission to a nursing home. Those people who the Department of Health determined had sufficient financial assets and income were required to pay for their own health care costs in nursing homes on a private pay basis. Those residents who did not have sufficient financial assets and income had their health care costs in nursing homes covered from public funds.

The proposed class action alleges that requiring some nursing home residents and their family members to pay for the nursing home residents’ health care costs was unlawful because:

(1) it occurred without the required statutory authority;

(2) it was based on false representations or false statements;

(3) the elderly seniors requiring nursing home care were in a special relationship with the Department of Health and the Department of Health had a duty to protect the interests of those seniors; and

(4) the proposed class members’ rights under section 7 and section 15.1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been violated.

The proposed class action seeks damages and/or repayment of the total amount of health care costs paid by proposed class members on a private basis for residents in Nova Scotia nursing homes between February 1, 2001 and January 1, 2005.

Updates & Latest Developments

This action was certified as a class action. 

However, there was an unfavourable outcome in a similar class action in Alberta (Elder). This outcome was unsuccessfully appealed and we learned of the outcome in mid-September, 2019. We have since learned that counsel in Elder will be seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. 

In light of the unsuccessful appeal, and now the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in Elder, we are in the process of determining next steps. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your legal options.