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Fletcher family reacts to Coyle sentence

Statement on Behalf of a Client

For immediate release: January 16, 2024

Today, former La Verendrye Hospital nurse Lindsey Coyle was sentenced in the Ontario Court of Justice to 2 years' imprisonment for the death of Hermina Fletcher, an elderly hospital patient in her care in January 2015.

The following statement can be attributed to Melvin Fletcher Jr. and Melissa Fletcher, the surviving son and granddaughter of Hermina Fletcher:


"This prosecution has been a long and difficult journey for our family. Our mother and grandmother died as a result of Ms. Coyle’s actions while she was supposed to be caring for her in the hospital.

"It has been over 9 years since Hermina's death, and 4 years since Ms. Coyle was criminally charged. There have been numerous delays, which has contributed to the trauma of our family.


"We appreciate that Justice Joubert recognized the gravity of Ms. Coyle’s actions, the numerous aggravating factors which called for her imprisonment, and the need for this sentence to serve as public denunciation of her actions and deterrence of such grave and irresponsible misconduct by a licensed healthcare professional.

"We also appreciated hearing in court today that His Honour recognized the broader public and community concerns that this case has raised about the safety of vulnerable persons in our local hospital. We are anticipating his written reasons, which are expected to be released on February 8.

"We want to thank the community for their support and concern throughout this difficult ordeal."


The following statement can be attributed to Douglas W. Judson, counsel to Melvin Fletcher Jr. and Melissa Fletcher:


"Our clients have now repeatedly called for improved clarity around the circumstances surrounding Hermina’s death, and specifically the extent of Ms. Coyle’s professional misconduct. As we have pointed out since August 2022, this criminal proceeding has pointed to the possibility that there were other victims targeted over a longer period of time than Hermina’s hospitalization.


"Instead of providing that clarity, Riverside Health Care – which administers La Verendrye Hospital – has chosen this month to run a weeks-long advertising campaign suggesting that public statements expressing these concerns are without merit, while also declining to specify which public statement are, in their view, false.


"Likewise, Minister of Health Sylvia Jones, in denying our clients' request for an investigation last week, has suggested that there are ongoing investigations by the police, coroner, or others. Our clients have no knowledge of any such investigations, now almost a decade after Ms. Coyle's employment as a nurse was ended.


"It is unclear why neither the Minister of Health or the hospital can simply come out and confirm that, if the care of other patients was impacted, that those patients or their families were notified. The messages we are seeing seem to be directed at controlling liability at the expense of public confidence in local health care."

The civil proceeding brought against Ms. Coyle by the estate of Mrs. Fletcher and her surviving family is ongoing and is expected to conclude in early 2024.

Questions and requests will only be addressed through the contact identified below.




Further Information:


Douglas W. Judson


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