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Local lawyers seek provincial investigation

By Randy Thoms Aug 31, 2023 | 11:13 PM

Lawyers for the family of a Fort Frances woman whose death resulted in criminal charges against a former nurse are seeking an investigation from the Health Minister.

A letter penned by Fort Frances lawyer Doug Judson points to what he states are a number of serious and disturbing events arising from the court hearings involving Lindsay Coyle.

Court heard that Coyle had falsified the medical records of Hermina Fletcher in 2015 to take medication for her personal use.

She was charged four years later with second-degree murder but it was later downgraded to criminal negligence causing death.

It was revealed during this week’s sentencing hearing that Coyle also made up patient names to access medication.

In her address to the court, Coyle mentioned she wanted to speak to police about the incident but was bound by an agreement signed with Riverside Health Care Facilities that prevented her from talking.

Judson’s letter asks Health Minister Sylvia Jones to look at the circumstances surrounding Fletcher’s death, how medication was managed while

Coyle was working, and if other potential patients were affected.

“The events surrounding Mrs. Fletcher’s death and the conviction of Ms. Coyle have shaken confidence in our local hospital,” states Judson. “It is the only hospital for hundreds of kilometres in any direction. The public ought to be assured that their loved ones are safe in that facility. Our community ought to know what happened, who was at risk or was harmed, why and how this occurred and for how long, and what measures are in place to prevent it from happening again.”

Judson adds in the letter that since news broke of Coyle’s criminal charges, the Fletchers have been approached by others who believe that their loved ones were similarly targeted, but none had enough information to act on their suspicions.

Sentencing of Coyle has been held over to another day yet to be determined.


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