AMY EILEEN HAMM REPORTS: Patients sue fake nurse, BC health authority, and licensing body for battery, negligence, breach of duty

Cleroux is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Ontario for crimes including assault while pretending to be a nurse in that province.

Amy Eileen Hamm Montreal QC

Ten former patients of a fake nurse employed for a year between 2020 and 2021 at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre (BCWH) launched civil lawsuits in June in the BC Supreme Court. The 10 women are seeking damages for battery, negligence, breach of privacy, and breach of duty. Earlier this year, many of Cleroux’s BCWH patients also filed a proposed class-action lawsuit.

The defendants in the newest lawsuits include fake nurse Brigitte Cleroux, a 51-year-old known criminal and fraud with no nursing credentials or education, her former employer Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), and the nurse regulator, BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM). Cleroux is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Ontario for crimes including assault while pretending to be a nurse in that province. She is also awaiting trial for criminal charges, including assault, related to posing as a nurse in BC. The fraudster has also previously faked being a teacher.

The former patients’ allegations against the defendants relate to not receiving appropriate care or pain medication during gynecological surgery, being injured and verbally abused, having their medical records inappropriately accessed, and being undressed in a vulnerable state in front of Cleroux.

One of the notices of claim states that “[a]s a result of the Defendant Cleroux’s failure to provide appropriate medical care, her falsification of her nursing qualifications, and the PHSA and BCCNM’s failure to properly vet and supervise the Defendant Cleroux, the Plaintiff experienced extreme and unnecessary levels of pain during and after the Surgery, resulting in severe psychological distress, including, but not limited to the following diagnoses: posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.”

The same notice of claim describes how this plaintiff “has suffered and continues to suffer embarrassment, mental distress, and psychological upset as a result of the Defendant Cleroux’s unauthorized access to her private medical information and… unauthorized observance of her in an undressed and highly vulnerable state.” Several of the claimants state they fear that their personal information could be used for fraudulent or criminal purposes in the future.

Another claimant states that Cleroux made “damaging and disparaging” remarks about the woman’s fertility struggles. And an additional ex-patient alleges that Cleroux aggressively held her down using her knees while attempting to insert an intravenous line.

The lawsuits claim that PHSA and BCCNM are vicariously liable for Cleroux’s conduct. The employer, PHSA, allegedly did not vet Cleroux, and hired her after Cleroux provided a photocopied personal check with a fake name handwritten on top as her only piece of identification. The nurse regulator, BCCNM, allegedly failed to monitor Cleroux’s conduct or take any adequate steps to respond to complaints made about her. The BCCNM issued a public statement about Cleroux after she had been working as a fake nurse for 11 months.

None of the accusations have been proven in court at this time. Both PHSA and BCCNM declined to provide comment on the lawsuits while they are before the courts.

Full disclosure: The Post Millennial has extensively covered my own case with the BCCNM. As a registered nurse, I was investigated by and taken to ongoing disciplinary hearings for my “off duty conduct” advocating for the sex-based rights of women. You can read about my case here.

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