Canadian Underwriter

Vancouver Ear Bank faces class action suit

February 22, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter

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A class action lawsuit has been filed against the B.C. Ear Bank by A Vancouver woman, on behalf of those who have received transplant tissue and bone from the University of B.C.-directed facility.
Margaret Birrell says she was among those who received a transplant and then was informed a Health Canada investigation had uncovered poor record keeping to confirm the tissue and bone had been properly screened and sterilized. According to Birrell’s legal representation, Klein Lyons, she received the tissue in 1994 at the Bank at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, and in January, 2005 she received a letter informing her of the investigation and directing her to be tested for diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B and C. The law firm’s statement does not note that Birrell has tested positive for any of these diseases.
Klein Lyons says thousands of patients are potentially involved, as the Ear Bank supplied tissue and bone to 87 hospitals and physicians in Canada, and in two U.S. cities.
The suit names the University of B.C., Providence Health Care Society (which operates St. Paul’s Hospital) and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

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