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

Jacob Koomen takes his bike out for a spin near his home in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell Riverite to cycle length of Island to raise funds for cancer research

Long distance rides are no big deal for 73-year-old cyclist

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

WestJet in flight. Black Press file photo
Two COVID exposures on WestJet flight into Comox

The BC Centre for Disease Control has posted advisories for two separate… Continue reading

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Busy day for Campbell River fire crews

Three incidents in rapid succession keep crews on their toes

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Top developments north of the Malahat honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo’s Village on Third takes top honour at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

Most Read