Hospital Settles With Slain Nurse’s Family
Posted on behalf of Greg Monforton & Partners Injury Lawyers on Jan 04, 2010 in General Interest
The family of a nurse slain by her former boyfriend at the hospital in Windsor, Ont., where they both worked has reached a financial settlement with that hospital, more than four years after her death.
Neither Lori Dupont's family nor Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital would disclose the amount of the settlement and warned in a press release that specific details "will not be publicly discussed or disclosed." The Dupont's had been seeking $13.3 million.
Dupont, 36, died on Nov. 12, 2005, after her ex-boyfriend, Marc Daniel, 50, who was an anesthetist at the hospital, stabbed her in the chest. Daniel died several days later of a drug overdose in what was later ruled a suicide. The couple had broken up in early February 2005, and Daniel had attempted suicide soon after.
Hospital administrators acknowledged after the killing that they were aware Daniel had been stalking and harassing Dupont before he killed her, and they were aware of his suicide attempt.
In an internal report released in August 2006, Hôtel-Dieu called the fatal stabbing an "unforeseen event" that would have been impossible to predict.
In 2007, it conducted a 10-week inquest into the killing, seeking recommendations on how to prevent domestic violence and harassment in the workplace.
On Dec. 11, 2007, a four-member jury released 26 recommendations, including that the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act, which protects workers against health and safety hazards on the job, be expanded to include harassment and abuse as grounds to refuse to work.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario in December 2008 made its own recommendations aimed at reducing violence in the workplace, and called on the federal and provincial governments to enact and enforce legislation that promotes a violence-free workplace.
Dupont's slaying prompted provincial legislators to consider two new pieces of legislation.
In April 2009, the Ontario government introduced Bill 168, which would impose new obligations on employers with respect to workplace violence and harassment.
The other aims to speed up the process by which a person can apply for a peace bond, which is a criminal court order meant to protect an individual from potentially serious personal harm by another.
During the inquest, jurors heard that Dupont had applied for a peace bond to protect her from Daniels, but that it was never processed.
"The fundamental purpose of this legislation was to ensure that Lori's death did not go ignored and that some positive, constructive actions resulted in terms of achievement of legal reform, workplace safety reforms," the family's lawyer, Greg Monforton, told CBC News.
"The family was determined and remains determined to do everything possible to ensure this type of terrible tragedy never happens again," said Monforton.
Hospital officials are "pleased the action is settled and glad the process is over," a hospital lawyer told CBC News.