News / Toronto

Charges laid against CAMH in connection to the beating of a nurse

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has laid charges against the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) after an incident involving an alleged brutal beating of a nurse by a patient in January.

The four charges — laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act — include failing to provide sufficient information and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence and failing to implement measures and procedures to protect workers from workplace violence.

In an email statement to the Star, CAMH manager of public affairs Julie Rosenberg said the centre was “very disappointed” by the charges.

“CAMH specializes in treating patients with complex and serious forms of mental illness and addictions, including those with behavioural, cognitive and developmental disorders,” she said. “Quality of care and staff and patient safety are our highest priorities.”

The charges are in relation to an incident on Jan. 12 in which a patient allegedly attacked a nurse at CAMH, said ministry spokesperson William Lin. The ministry followed up with an investigation, he said.

Rosenberg said CAMH looks forward to “vigorously” defending the charges in court.

“This is very good news,” said Lisa McCaskell, senior health and safety officer with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents some nurses and healthcare workers.

Earlier this month, OPSEU and the Ontario Nurses Association issued a news release urging the Ministry of Labour, Toronto police and Crown attorneys to lay charges against CAMH for an attack that left a nurse “beaten beyond recognition.”

The maximum fine per conviction is $500,000, said a ministry spokesperson.

The first court date is set for Feb. 5 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto.

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