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SARS Lawsuits Struck > No Claim Allowed Against Province of Ontario

SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) was an issue in Toronto in 2003.  The disease was largely contained to hospital and health care workers and further information from the WHO (World Health Organization) is found here.

A number of lawsuits were brought as a result of SARS and recently, five cases were decided together by the Ontario Court of Appeal.  All five cases dealt found that the Province of Ontario could not be found to have a private law duty of care to any of the plaintiffs; each of the Statements of Claim were struck as against the Province of Ontario.

Those five appeals decided together are:

The allegations against Ontario were that they failed to have a system in place to deal with SARS during the 2003 outbreak.  Further, the allegations were that the stringent controls relating to prevented a spread of SARS, once detected, were relaxed too early by Ontario (primarily to bolster public confidence and generate tourism interest in Ontario), which then lead to a second outbreak of SARS immediately after the relaxation of the standards.

Following the reasoning of the West Nile lawsuit – Eliopoulos Estate v. Ontario (Minister of Health and Long-Term Care), (2006 Ontario Court of Appeal) – the Court of Appeal found that the SARS lawsuits disclosed no cause of action against Ontario.
Gregory Chang
Toronto Insurance Litigation Lawyer