Public Service Strike Forces Lawsuit

PENETANGUISHENE – November 30, 2002 – Thirty patients at the maximum-secure Oak Ridge Division of the Mental Health Centre, Penetanguishene have brought an action against the Province and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). The action seeks damages of $100,000.00 each for suffering caused during the strike by provincial government employees that lasted from March 12 to May 5, 2002.

Among the complaints are the cessation of all therapy, inadequate medical care and en masse absences by staff deemed essential under essential services agreements negotiated by the Province. Patients lost access to outdoor activity, mail and food required for special diets. They spent hours and days locked down in cells without explanation while staff took steps to disrupt the institution as much as possible.

The action is case managed and will proceed to mandatory mediation in Toronto in the Spring.

Update (January 14, 2005): Examinations for discovery will be completed in February 2005. For more information, contact Marshall Swadron or Mercedes Perez.