3 Ontario nurses disciplined for social media posts related to pandemic launch $1M libel suit

Three Ontario nurses who have faced self-discipline for their stances at the pandemic are suing the Canadian Nurses Affiliation (CNA) and a media outlet in British Columbia, with the libel swimsuit searching for $1 million.

Kristen Nagle of London, Kristal Pitter of Tillsonburg and Sara Choujounian of Toronto had been investigated via the varsity of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) for sharing their debatable perspectives concerning the pandemic on social media.

All three nurses are entitled to practise in Ontario without restrictions.

Pitter, a nurse practitioner and former nursing home inspector for the Ontario Ministry of Lengthy-Term Care, has been counseled by the CNO, in conjunction with Nagle, about spreading misinformation on social media concerning the pandemic.

Nagle, a former neonatal intensive-care nurse at London Well Being Sciences Centre, used to be fired final January after she was once charged by means of law enforcement for failing to comply with Ontario’s emergency pandemic well being regulations in November 2020. She was once charged once more in April 2021. 

THREE are individuals of Canadian Frontline Nurses

Choujounian, a former practical nurse with a Toronto house-care agency, will face a CNO disciplinary hearing this June for pro misconduct in reference to a dozen social media posts associated with the pandemic, together with claims surgical masks increase the risk of most cancers, the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax and COVID-19 vaccines are “dangerous.”  

3 Ontario nurses disciplined for social media posts related to pandemic launch $1M libel suit

Nagle and Choujounian, first and 2d on the left, are proven with other individuals of worldwide Frontline Nurses on this Instagram photograph from January 2021. (Sarah Choujounian/Instagram)

Nagle and Choujounian had been additionally investigated via the Ontario nursing regulator for making a trip to Washington with a bunch of fellow workers, all through last January’s non-very important go back and forth ban, for allegedly promoting theories that the pandemic is a hoax and hospitals had a task to play in misrepresenting it.

All three nurses are part of Canadian Frontline Nurses (CFN), an offshoot of world Frontline Nurses, that was created to “empower well being-care staff who disagree with lockdowns,” in step with the CFN’s Fb page. 

The remark of declare was once filed in a Toronto court on Dec. 13, 2021, through the CFN on behalf of Pitter, Nagle and Choujounian, and names four defendants:

The CNA. CNA president Tim Visitor. CNA’s leader executive officer, Michael Villeneuve. The B.C. media company In Combination Information Inc., which has 4 small-the city newspapers within the Comox Valley.  

The lawsuit claims the defamatory statements in opposition to the plaintiffs had been made by way of each and every organization one at a time in September 2021, against a backdrop of anti-lockdown demonstrations at hospitals throughout Canada.

CNA article didn’t consult with nurses through name

In its allegations in opposition to the CNA, the lawsuit claims the group made defamatory statements about Pitter, Nagle and Choujounian on its site on Sept. NINE, 2021, in an anonymous opinion piece titled “Enough is sufficient: professional nurses stand for science-based health care.”

3 Ontario nurses disciplined for social media posts related to pandemic launch $1M libel suit

Nagle, left, used to be charged by government in reference to this anti-lockdown rally in Victoria Park in London, Ont., in November 2020. (Sofia Rodriguez/CBC Information)

The Item doesn’t identify Pitter, Nagle or Choujounian. Instead, it makes connection with “the reckless perspectives of a handful of discredited people who identify as nurses,” saying they “have aligned in some cases with angry crowds who’re hanging public health and protection in peril.”

The CNA publish additionally refers to the demonstrators on the September health center protests as “surly mobs” who “harass, threaten, or even assault well being-care employees coming and going in the business of saving lives.”

The lawsuit says that at the same time as the CNA article did not explicitly seek advice from the plaintiffs by way of name, it “was intended” and “might be understood to refer to them,” claiming the CNA “knew or should have identified” the statements had been libel. 

The statement of claim mentioned the CNA article used to be “intended and used to be understood to intend” the plaintiffs “aren’t nurses,” are “anti-technological know-how,” “put public well being and safety in danger” and “shaped part of a crowd that used to be intent on causing trouble or violence” through harassing and threatening well being-care employees. 

Go Well With claims plaintiffs faced ‘ridicule, hatred’

In its allegations towards Together Information Inc., the lawsuit claims, the company made defamatory statements in an nameless opinion piece published on Sept. 11, 2021, entitled “Quack! Quack! These pro-virus nurses have dangerous concepts.”

The Thing explicitly names Canadian Frontline Nurses, Pitter, Nagle and Choujounian. 

The observation of declare alleges the object paints the 3 registered nurses as “disgraced,” “highly disturbed and unstable” and that all 3 women have been “terminated as a result of their employers didn’t believe them.” 

The lawsuit additionally claims the TNI article suggests “Pitter was once responsible for COVID deaths in long-time period care facilities,” and paints Nagle and Choujounian as contributors within the Jan. 6, 2021, protest that led to an assault at the U.S. Capitol Development.

The lawsuit says Pitter, Nagle and Choujounian were subjected to “ridicule, hatred and contempt,” and have been “injured of their emotions, their non-public and professional personality and reputation.”

Courtroom files also say the three registered nurses “proceed to undergo personal embarrassment and humiliation, and have experienced great emotional anxiousness” as a result of the guides. 

Lawsuit asks for $1M in damages

The plaintiffs are inquiring for $750,000 typically damages and $250,000 in punitive damages.

CBC Information contacted the CNA on Friday. Via a spokesperson, the organization stated by way of email it could not remark because it “had no knowledge of this lawsuit and has yet to be served.”

Also Friday, Together News Inc. stated in an email that it could now not remark at the subject as it had but to receive courtroom documents.

“we have now no longer been served, so would not have enough detail to comment at this time,” the e-mail stated. 

CBC News also spoke with Alexander Boissonneau-Lehner, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, on Friday. 

“As the problem is prior to the courts, it might be irrelevant for me to comment at this time,” he mentioned.

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