Moncton moms involved in class-action lawsuit reach out to others
Mothers involved in a class-action lawsuit against The Moncton Hospital and a former nurse are reaching out to others who may share their concerns.
They believe their labour and deliveries were affected by a former nurse who was fired for improperly administering a labour-inducing drug.
Caitlin Middleton organized the mothers’ meeting Tuesday morning in Moncton to provide concerned moms with a chance to ask questions and find clarity together.
“What do we do moving forward?” Middleton said. “We’re all waiting here waiting for answers, and that’s hard, so that’s why we should come together and share our stories.”
She’s just one of several moms who attended the meeting. They believe their traumatic births were the result of the improper use of a labour-inducing drug called oxytocin.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Horizon Health and former nurse, Nicole Ruest.
“Both of the defendants have retained counsel and have indicated that they intend to defend the action,” said lawyer John McKiggan.
Lawyers leading the case were on hand at the meeting to explain the class-action process in case more mothers want to get involved.
“We're still getting calls daily,” McKiggan said. “There's a lot of moms who believe they’ve been impacted.”
Part of the mothers' outrage stems from the missing pieces in their medical records.
“You have to actively and aggressively go get the information,” said mother Sally Davis.
The thing the mothers are most frustrated about, however, is the lack of response from the hospital, who they say has never reached out to them.
“Things need to be a little more transparent,” said Davis. “I’m really frustrated that this wasn’t initially owned up to by the establishment first. They could’ve contacted us.”
McKiggan says it's unacceptable.
“If the hospital is aware of facts that leads it to believe that any particular mom, or dozens in this case, may have been injured or impacted by one of their employees, I believe they have a legal obligation to reach out and tell them that,” he said.
Lawyers representing the hospital and Nicole Ruest have yet to file a statement of defence in the class-action suit.
Lawyers say the defences should be at the courthouse by next week.
McKiggan says the most important part of a class-action lawsuit is the certification stage – in which a court grants permission to file the claim as a group.
This case has not yet been certified and McKiggan says it could take from six to nine months, so a decision will likely come next year.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.