The private air company that was transporting a seriously ill COVID-19 patient to Ontario when she died is disputing allegations contained in a lawsuit that its care caused the 31-year-old woman’s condition to deteriorate.
Krystal Mousseau died on May 25, 2021, following a failed attempt to airlift her to Ontario.
Her mother, Elaine Mousseau, filed a lawsuit earlier this year against all those involved in her daughter’s medical care — including Keewatin Air — claiming that bad planning and decisions combined with a lack of the necessary medical equipment and properly trained staff caused the death of her daughter.
In a statement of defence filed in May, Keewatin Air denies several allegations made in Elaine Mousseau’s statement of claim, including that Krystal was in stable condition when Keewatin Air employees arrived.
“Krystal’s condition was not stable, it was precarious, requiring multiple medications and critical care medical treatments,” the statement of defence says.
The air company’s statement of defence also denies Krystal was in progressive shock while in the ICU at the Brandon Regional Health Centre before she was taken to the airport in a stretcher, and says that Keewatin employees were able to take her blood pressure readings successfully.
It goes on to say that its employees had appropriate training and experience to provide emergency care, as well as the necessary medical equipment and medication.
In a separate statement of defence, Shared Health, Prairie Mountain Health and the Brandon Regional Health Centre also deny the lawsuit’s allegations and argue they did not breach their duty of care when treating Krystal Mousseau.
Elaine Mousseau is also suing the Government of Manitoba, alleging that they failed in their duty of care in a number ways, including by allowing an ICU bed shortage to proliferate to the detriment of patients like Krystal.
However, the Government of Manitoba has asked to be dismissed from the lawsuit, arguing in a motion brief that that the lawsuit doesn’t contain any allegations of bad faith on its part.
Further, it says that the province can’t be sued for negligence because the lawsuit’s allegations against it relate to core policy decisions “that reflect various social, economic and political factors,” court documents show.
The province argues that Manitoba law, specifically the Health System Governance and Accountability Act, applies to broader public interest and does not “create a duty of care to any particular individual.”
None of the allegations made in the statement of claim or statements of defence have been proven in court.
The matter was last in court at the beginning of May.