Nova Scotia Health has filed a statement of defence with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in response to a lawsuit filed by the family of Allison Holthoff, who died after waiting hours for treatment at a hospital in Amherst, N.S., late last year.
Halifax law firm Valent Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of the 37-year-old’s husband and children, alleging that Nova Scotia Health was negligent in failing to meet the standard of care in requiring the appropriate testing in a timely manner.
The lawsuit also names the attending emergency room physician as a defendant.
The allegations contained in the family’s lawsuit have not been tested in court.
In its statement of defence filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on Feb. 28, 2023, Nova Scotia Health denies the allegations made against it and states Holthoff’s death was not caused by negligence by the health authority or any of its staff.
The document further states that any care provided to Holthoff was provided “reasonably, appropriately and in a manner consistent with the applicable standard of care in the circumstances.”
The provincial health authority is asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit and award it costs associated with the lawsuit.
Holthoff arrived at the Cumberland Regional Health Centre before noon on New Year’s Eve. Her husband said she was in extreme pain, even screaming that she was dying at times, but waited hours to see a doctor.
By the time she was taken into a room and had a CT scan — which showed internal bleeding — it was too late, said her husband.
Roughly 12 hours after she arrived at the hospital, the 37-year-old mother of three was dead.
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