North Bay Hospital Privacy Breach

Sherry-Lynn Daniells v. Melissa McLellan and North Bay Regional Health Centre, Court File No. CV-13-5565-CP

A statement of claim was issued out of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in North Bay on January 24, 2013 in connection with 5,804 patients of the North Bay Hospitals who suffered a breach of their personal health information.

The action was certified as a class proceeding by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on November 29, 2017.

Case Updates

September 06, 2019

We are currently in the Disclosure Stage of this class action.

At this stage, we are exchanging documents that are relevant to the privacy breach with the other parties, namely, the North Bay Regional Health Centre and Melissa McLellan.

We have reviewed the documents provided by the Hospital thus far and have requested further documents from the Hospital. We are currently waiting for the Hospital to provide us with information regarding the specific details of the privacy breaches as they relate to each individual class member.

We are also working with the Case Management Judge so that we can schedule examinations of a representative of the Hospital and Ms. McLellan. The representative plaintiffs will also be examined on behalf of all class members.

As a class member, you do not need to worry about providing us with any documentation or being examined.

We are hopeful that both the disclosure of all relevant documentation and the examinations of the relevant parties will be completed by the end of this year. Following these steps, the next major step in the process will be a hearing before the Case Management Judge.

Importantly, please be aware that you do not need to do anything at this stage. You will not be asked for any documentation and you will not need to attend court or be examined.

If you have any questions regarding the above update or anything else about the class action, please contact us via telephone at 705-478-8200 or email us at [email protected].

December 19, 2019

Since our previous update of September 6, 2019, our office and counsel for the Hospital participated in a case conference with the Case Management Judge.

As a result of this case conference, it has become clear that prior to the examinations of representatives being conducted, motions to the court have to be brought to obtain additional documentary evidence from other parties and the Hospital. These motions have been scheduled with the court, with the first motion scheduled in early 2020 and the second motion scheduled for the summer of 2020. Once the motions have been heard and
the court has decided, the examinations of the Hospital representative, Ms. McLellan and the representative plaintiffs will occur.

This represents a slight delay in the completion of the Disclosure Stage, however, it is important that we have all the relevant documentation available to proceed forward through the Examinations for Discovery.

Importantly, as a class member, you are still not required to do anything at this time.

If you have any questions regarding the above update or anything else about the class action, please contact us via telephone at 705-478-8200 or email us at [email protected].

March 26, 2020

As you are likely aware, COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has been spreading across Canada and around the world, has been declared a global pandemic. To protect the health and safety of all court users and to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Superior Court of Justice suspended all regular operations effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, until further notice. As such, all matters that were scheduled to be heard by the courts have been adjourned to be rescheduled at some date in the future.

What this means for this class action is that the motions that were scheduled with the court, one set for early 2020 and one set for the summer of 2020, have been postponed until the courts reopen and new dates can be scheduled. Unfortunately, we cannot speak to when that time will be exactly.

Moving forward, we will provide a further update, when we are able to, with respect to the rescheduling of our motions with the court.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What Is A Class Action?

A class action is a form of civil action where one or a few plaintiffs can sue a defendant or a number of defendants on behalf of a larger group of people who claim the same type of loss from the same defendant or group of defendants. Instead of starting separate lawsuits or having each plaintiff named in the case, the representative plaintiff can pursue the claim on behalf of the class.

What Is This Class Action About?

A court action was commenced in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in North Bay, Daniells v. McLellan et al., Court File No. CV-13-5565-CP as a proposed class action seeking damages on behalf of all patients and former patients of the North Bay General Hospital, the Northeast Health Centre, and the North Bay Regional Health Centre, whose privacy was breached by Melissa McLellan, a registered nurse that worked at the North Bay Regional Health Centre.

Who Commenced This Class Action?

The action was originally commenced by one of the representative plaintiffs, Sherry-Lynn Daniells, after she discovered the breach of her personal health information, triggering a larger investigation by the North Bay Regional Health Centre resulting in the discovery of the scope of the personal health information breaches by Melissa McLellan. The other representative plaintiff, Andrea Kendall, then joined the class action as a representative plaintiff to assist in representing the class.

Who Is Included In The Class?

The class, as determined by the Court, includes all patients of the North Bay Regional Health Centre whose personal health information was accessed by Melissa McLellan without their consent, while Melissa McLellan was not involved in their care. Most members of the class would have received a letter from the North Bay Regional Health Centre around September, 2011, notifying them that their personal health information had been breached. There is a chance that some class members did not receive this letter while still being part of the class.

Am I On The List?

There is no list at this time and no class member is required to do anything to join the class action. All class members are automatically part of the action. Individuals who already know that they are a class member can contact us to provide our office with current contact information so we may provide them updated information on the class action.

If I Didn’t Receive A Letter Can I Still Be Part Of The Class?

If you did not receive a letter around September, 2011, from the North Bay Regional Health Centre, you may still be part of the class.

How Can I Get More Information?

If you would like more information, please contact our office via telephone at 705-478-8200 or email us at [email protected]. If you would like to receive regular updates, please provide us with your contact information by emailing us at [email protected] and indicating that you would like to receive updates via email.

At This Time, Do I Need To Do Anything?

At this time, if you want to remain as part of the class, it is not necessary to do anything. If you want to opt out of the class, however, you will need to submit an Opt Out Form via mail, fax or email by October 1, 2018 to: Larmer Stickland P.C. 401 – 101 Worthington Street East North Bay, ON, P1B 1G5 Facsimile Number: 705-478-8100 Email address: [email protected]