BC woman tormented by lack of answers over mother’s E. coli-related death
Posted: January 18th, 2012 - 11:20am
Madeline Jonah, 80, died after eating E. coli tainted food at a British Columbia (that’s in Canada) nursing home in Nov. 2011 her family is still seeking answers.
The Province reports that Kiwanis Park Place, a White Rock independent living facility was found in violation of a number of food-preparation standards weeks before the victim and two other seniors fell ill.
Langley woman Kathy Jonah says she has been tormented by a lack of answers and empathy from officials after her mother died.
“I just want someone to be accountable,” Kathy Jonah said. “The management [at Kiwanis Park Place] hasn’t called me back, and they haven’t offered me an apology or anything. It’s like a slap in the face.”
Kiwanis Park Place, a subsidized independent-living complex operated by Crescent Housing Society, offers food services under the licensing of Fraser Health Authority.
An investigation by the authority determined that the three seniors were likely infected with E. coli because of the facility’s food preparation, inadequate cooking or improper cleaning of food surfaces.
Fraser Health spokesman Roy Thorpe-Dorward said Crescent Housing Society voluntarily ended its food-services program, so there will be no further probes into the outbreak. The facility had no previous E. coli issues, Thorpe-Dorward said.
Jonah said that because of B.C.’s wrongful-death laws she has no way to hold anyone accountable.
Ben Doyle of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. says family members can’t effectively sue for damages in the deaths of children, seniors and the disabled, because the law only accounts for damages for loss of income support.
“We have legislation that makes children, seniors and people with disabilities worthless,” he said. “We’re pushing for legislation that respects the lives of all individuals and not just breadwinners.”
Officials with Crescent Housing Society did not answer interview requests on Monday.