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Fatality Inquiry: James Cairns

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Thursday & Friday, January 14, & 15, 2010 – 9:30 AM

Calgary Provincial Court

Judge S.A. Hamilton presiding

James Cairns allegedly died at the hands of roommate John Driscoll # 070475082 P1 in the early hours of April 22/07 at the BETHANY CARE CENTER, Calgary. There was no witness to this deadly assault.

It is troubling, that Mr. Driscoll who allegedly expressed strong paranoid fears, was placed in close proximity to another resident, James Cairns.

It is further troubling that staff failed to hear the violent altercation. This again reinforces our all too frequent finding, that locked dementia units are left unattended during the night.

Unless the police have conclusive evidence that in fact Mr. Driscoll was the assailant, no one can be certain who made the deadly assault on Mr. Cairns. We are again calling for cameras to monitor the care of vulnerable persons.

Finally, it is a well established principle of common law, that health care providers owe a duty of care to provide a reasonable level of safety to their clients. We allege that the Bethany Care Center failed to exercise their duty of care to Mr. James Cairns.

This law has been expressed in:


Stewart v. Extendicare Ltd.

(1986) 4 WWR 559

(1986) 38 CCLT67

(1986) 48 Sask R 86

Sask QB. Malone, J.

“Many nursing homes have become dangerous places largely because they are under staffed and under regulated”

-TIME magazine, Fatal Neglect” October 27, 21997 Vol. 150 No 17

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