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

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
WorkSafe BC investigating man’s death during Oak Bay tree removal

Man was working for contracted tree removal company when incident occurred

Vic High (Black Press Media file photo)
Vic High stadium plans drop promised 8-lane track to ‘barely wider than city sidewalk’

Friends of Vic High seek public inquiry into plans for Memorial Stadium Revitalization Project

A notice on the door of the Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. says it closes permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks location to close permanently after 16 years

Residents association seeks reason for closure set for Oct. 25

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive on Oct. 20 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich the night before. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear spotted several times in Saanich likely to be euthanized

Conservation officers still searching for bear reported near Elk Lake Drive

The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
Sexual assault suspect sought by West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for help identifying this man

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Michael Leighton, who is wanted on 11 warrants on Vancouver Island and is a suspect in a recent break, enter and theft in Nanaimo. (Photos submitted)
RCMP looking for break-and-enter suspect with 11 warrants on the Island

Nanaimo RCMP say Michael Leighton a suspect in theft of pistol and $40,000 worth of coins

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read