The family of an elderly Surrey man has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court, alleging he was kicked out of his care home — after they complained staff had missed the fact he was gravely ill.
The widow and daughter of Sheldon Feldman say they launched the legal fight to try to improve the quality of residential care for all B.C. seniors.
Pearl and Andrea Feldman are suing Morgan Place, facility physician Dr. Robert Fletcher and Fraser Health, which oversees the care home, over their alleged “failure to … diagnose Mr. Feldman’s pneumonia.”
And they claim Morgan Place and Fraser Health cancelled the 76-year-old man’s bed “as retaliation” for the family advocating on his behalf.
They allege they were told Feldman would no longer be able to return to the facility, just one day after letters outlining their concerns over his treatment were received by Morgan Place and Fraser Health.
The incident occurred in September 2015. Feldman died just over a year later at a different care home in Delta.
‘Life was shortened’
The family also claims Feldman suffered a “premature death” as a result of losing his bed. The lawsuit alleges he felt “devastation that he had become homeless.”
Although his family says he quickly recovered from a high fever and pneumonia at White Rock’s Peace Arch Hospital, he spent more than five months occupying an acute-care bed there, before Fraser Health found him a new care home that was acceptable to the Feldmans.
The family alleges the prolonged hospital stay deprived Feldman of daily physiotherapy he required due to Parkinson’s disease. As a result, he “lost mobility and strength … became depressed” and “Mr. Feldman’s life was shortened.”
His widow says she still chokes up remembering how her husband of almost 56 years was treated.
“The stress, the tears, the unfairness of it, just eats away at us,” said Pearl Feldman, 75.
The civil claim seeks unspecified damages for negligence, wrongful death and emotional distress and mental suffering against all three parties, plus breach of contract against Morgan Place and Fraser Health.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
The parties being sued have yet to file their legal response.