A legal victory for the family of Brian Sincair

Dennis Ward
APTN National News
WINNIPEG — After a number of setbacks, the family of Brian Sinclair has been handed a major legal victory.

A ruling released Tuesday clears the way for the family to proceed with its Charter of Rights and Freedoms claim against the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Sinclair, 45, was a double amputee who died in 2008 while waiting 34 hours for care in a hospital emergency room.

Manitoba’s Health Minister previously acknowledged Sinclair’s death was preventable and apologized to his family.

But the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority argued that common law principles prohibited Sinlair’s sister from bringing a Charter claim on his behalf. The Authority stated that only a person whose rights were breached could bring a Charter claim and in this case that person was dead and therefore unable to sue.

Two levels of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench had previously agreed.

This week’s decision by the Manitoba Court of Appeal also restored the Sinclair family’s right to sue hospital.

Read the decision here:

The family alleges hospital officials selectively released personal information concerning Brian Sinclair to the media and government authorities in a way that suggested Sinclair was to blame for his own demise.

In a statement, Robert Sinclair, a spokesperson for the family stated “it’s not ok for health workers to ignore a person in distress based on false racist assumptions. We will not stop seeking vindication for Brain Sinclair and to hold hospital authorities accountable for their shameful conduct both before and after his death.”

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