Quebec coroner to investigate 31 deaths at Montreal-area seniors' residence
MONTREAL -- The Quebec Coroner’s Office will investigate the 31 deaths at the Maison Herron long-term care facilit in Dorval on Montreal's West Island.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced Saturday that five of the deaths since March 13 were confirmed COVID-19 cases; police and public health investigations are underway.
Coroner Gehane Kamel has been mandated to shed light on “the cause and circumstances of these deaths,” according to a Sunday news release from the coroner’s office.
Kamel recently conducted an investigation into the death last year of former Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe’s mother, Helene Rowley Hotte Duceppe, who died outside of her seniors’ residence when she was locked out in the cold.
Other deaths in recent months at Herron are not the subject of the investigation, but “the coroner’s office is closely monitoring the situation and may be called upon to intervene if the circumstances so require,” the release reads.
The coroner's office is asked to intervene in violent and obscure deaths that could have been the result of negligence.
“In addition to determining the cause and the circumstances of these deaths, they play an important preventive role by formulating, if necessary, recommendations aimed at avoiding other deaths,” the release reads.