Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

June 17, 2011 16:59 ET

Awareness Walk This Sunday, Father's Day: In Memory of One Dad (Gary Davis), In Memory of One Mom (Theresa Pereira)

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 17, 2011) - Members of the Wrongful Death Law Reform Group will gather in Stanley Park this Sunday in honour of two parents who died as a result of medical errors and negligence. They will gather to raise awareness about the need for new legislation to govern in cases of wrongful death.

WHEN: Sunday, June 19 at 1:30 pm

WHERE: Stanley Park in Vancouver, Lumberman's Arch (for the start and finish)

Father's Day is an especially difficult occasion for Rita McDonnell. Her father, a senior named Gary Davis, died nearly two years ago after suffering through a prolonged and painful series of medical errors, and the amputation of both of his legs. He was in a long-term care facility in Langley, as well as two hospitals, between April 2006 and July 2009.

CBC chronicled Gary Davis' story in a piece provided through the following link:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/03/22/bc-bedsoreneglect.html

This Sunday also marks the 5th anniversary of the death of Theresa Pereira, another senior who died as a result of medical negligence, a grievous error that set in motion nearly a month of suffering before her life ended on June 19, 2006. For the past few years, Theresa's daughter Beatrice has been a highly active advocate for new legislation to be created in British Columbia, for the families left suffering after the wrongful death of a loved one. Father's Day will always be a poignant reminder of the Pereira family's story. Two days after Theresa died, her husband Oswald suffered a massive stroke. He died just two weeks later, on July 5, 2006.

Theresa's story was one of four wrongful deaths described in an anthology, found at the link provided here: http://www.canf.bc.ca/briefs/InTheirName_FullColWeb.pdf

Rita McDonnell and Beatrice Pereira, along with their families and various supporters, will conduct the awareness walk on Sunday, June 19. Both of them are members of the Wrongful Death Law Reform Group (WDLRG), a group of family representatives of wrongful death victims.

Since 2005, the group has been working in concert with *other organizations to bring about new legislation – namely a Wrongful Death Act – to ensure the lives of children, seniors and the disabled are respected and valued. The existing law in BC only recognizes the financial losses of income-earners rather than taking into account the losses of companionship, care, guidance and other forms of loss after innocent people are killed due to the reckless and negligent actions of others.

*The WDLRG, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and Coalition Against No-Fault in BC are partner organizations on the campaign for a Wrongful Death Act. More than 100 other organizations have signed on in support of their recommendations for new legislation. More details about the campaign are available in the anthology referenced above.

NOTE: On June 2, 2011 in the BC Legislature, amendments to the archaic Family Compensation Act were introduced by MLA Ralph Sultan. The amendments are not only inadequate, but also unlikely to get much further than First Reading (where the Bill stands at present, with the legislature closed until further notice). That draft legislation was not brought in as a government Bill, a fact that has caused concern as to what, if anything, the BC Attorney General's Ministry plans to do during the next sitting of the legislature. The AG's Ministry conducted a consultation regarding reform of the Family Compensation Act, and has corresponded and met with various interested groups throughout the past few years. Action by the Attorney General's Ministry has been anticipated. The recently introduced amendment act has created uncertainty rather than provided assurance for the family members involved.

Contact Information

  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
    Bentley Doyle
    604-682-5343 / 1-888-558-5222
    bentley@tlabc.org