B.C. woman in wheelchair sues Air Canada after staff lift her into seat without consent

Bonnie Hayes alleges Air Canada employees lifted her out of a wheelchair without her consent

A Penticton woman who uses a wheel chair has launched a civil lawsuit against Air Canada, claiming the airline company acted negligently after employees lifted her out of her wheelchair without her consent prior to her return flight from Vancouver to Penticton in 2018.

According to documents obtained by the Western News, the lawsuit filed last week in Penticton Supreme Court alleges Bonnie Hayes, a psychologist, was injured when two Air Canada employees “unilaterally” decided to lift her into an airplane seat, causing her immediate pain and damage to her shoulders and upper arms.

“Dr. Hayes cried out in pain during the incident and one of the two men involved, apologized,” states the lawsuit.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

READ MORE: Air Canada cuts fourth flight from Penticton to Vancouver

According to the statement of claim, Hayes had requested a seat with an armrest that could be elevated – a similar request that had been accommodated on the initial flight from Penticton to Vancouver three days earlier on Dec. 11, 2018, which allowed her to safely transition from the wheelchair to the aircraft seat.

“The injuries, loss and damage have caused and continue to cause Dr. Hayes pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of earnings, past and prospective and expense for medical treatment,” states the lawsuit.

“All of the injuries, loss and and damage were caused or contributed to by the negligence of the Defendant (Air Canada).”

It also states that Hayes continues to undergo medical care and treatment and members of her family have performed household duties, nursing and other services. As a result, she has experienced direct economic loss because of the time and effort that went into performing those duties, states the suit.

READ MORE: Penticton airport users vent on Air Canada schedule changes

According to information in the suit, the unspecified relief sought includes general damages for pain, suffering, loss of amenities and loss of enjoyment of life. The suit also claims lost income, loss of opportunity to earn income, special damages and damages payable in trust for those who provided services for her.

The suit alleges Air Canada acted negligently by failing to take any reasonable care to ensure that passengers who require extra assistance in boarding would be reasonably safe, and for failing to train its agents and employees properly.

“Failing to get informed consent from Dr. Hayes prior to transferring her from her wheelchair to her seat and unilaterally and improperly transferring Dr. Hayes from her wheelchair to her seat thereby exposing her to damage or injury which the defendant knew or ought to have known would have resulted,” the lawsuit states.

Attempts to contact the doctor were unsuccessful and Air Canada did not respond to an interview request.

As of press time, Air Canada had not filed a response to the civil claim, having 21 days to do so from the Dec. 12, 2019, filing date and had not returned requests for comment on the matter.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Protesters block access to Swartz Bay ferry terminal

Protesters standing in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters

The portage beach would add safety to the Victoria Waterways Loop

Number of U-Hauls entering Victoria plummeted in 2019

Data compiled from two million one-way U-Haul transactions

Decline of Canadian manufacturing hurts men, according to new study

A five per cent drop in manufacturing drops the weekly wages of men by at least 6.9 per cent

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Itska back in owner’s arms after Island man returns dog taken from Tofino

Shannon Boothman reunited with lost dog Itska on Sunday

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read