Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Charges laid against Sharon Home over resident's death

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Private criminal charges have been laid against the Sharon Home in connection with the death of a resident last year.

The Sharon Home has been accused of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm in the death of 93-year-old Lilyan Peck on Oct. 19.

Lawyer Harvey Berkal, whose father Rabbi Louis Berkal was a resident of the Simkin Centre run by the Sharon Home and died on Oct. 19, 2009, filed the private prosecution today because the province’s Justice Department has not filed any charges.

"This should send a strong message that our elderly deserve to be treated with the proper care, respect and accountability that should be a basic standard for those with no voice," Berkal said in a statement.

The first hearing on the charges has been scheduled for next month.

Peck’s death, which may have been hastened by horrendous bedsores that became infected, led to several investigations to find out what went wrong with her care. It also resulted in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority taking remedial action against seven nurses.

Months later, an official with the province’s health department stated in a letter made public that the actions of the nursing home staff caring for Peck was "physical abuse by neglect".

There are 200 residents living in the centre.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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