A Quebec Superior Court judge has authorized a $500-million class-action lawsuit against the Centres d'hebergement de soins de longue duree (CHSLD), Quebec's network of nursing homes.

The class action was launched last year by the Conseil pour la protection des malades (CPM), a patient-rights group that is alleging that practices ranging from negligent to abusive are prevalent in the CHSLDs.

The class-action would cover roughly 34,000 patients who have used Quebec's CHSLD network since July of 2015, and is seeking compensatory damages of $250 to $750 per user, as well as $100 in exemplary damages for each user.

The lead plaintiff in the suit is Daniel Pilote, a resident of a CHSLD in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Pilote, who has muscular dystrophy and is paralyzed from the neck down, told reporters at the time the suit was first filed that he finds it "inconceivable" that he'd been so badly mistreated at the nursing home, and that he hoped the courts would help remedy his situation and that of other CHSLD clients.

While the authorization of the class-action suit by Quebec Court Judge Donald Bisson allows the suit to move forward, the allegations must now be proven in court.

About 400 patients have signed up to be part of the class action suit.

"When you tell a person, a patient, that there's not enough people to take that person to the washroom, that she or he has to do in his diaper and that person starts crying, this is a violation of that person's dignity. And this is protected by the Canadian and Quebec Charter," said patients' rights advocate Paul Brunet.

For more from Paul Brunet, watch the interview in the video above.