18785 People Petitioned their MLA

336 People Donated to the Cause

99025 People Shared on Social Media

Share on Facebook Petition Your MLA

Recent Petitioners



6 days ago


Black Creek

3 weeks ago



3 weeks ago

Vito Noah’s Story

Told by his grandmother, Anna

“Losing a loved one has changed our lives forever.

My daughter delivered a baby boy on Friday, November 30, 2012. Vito Noah was our first grandchild. He was the most precious gift we could ever receive.

Upon delivery, the specialist and pediatrician told us that we had a healthy baby boy. Vito Noah did appear healthy in every way except for the heavy mucus he was spitting up that made it difficult for him to breastfeed. We brought our concerns to the nurses and were reassured that this experience was normal for babies born via caesarean section (C-section). We later learned that proper protocol for babies delivered via C-section is to carefully suction their mouths to ensure that they do not retain excess mucus, an issue common to C-section deliveries.

The day after Vito Noah’s birth, the pediatrician told us that Vito Noah’s records looked good and that we were free to take him home. We ended up deciding to stay a little longer as my daughter was still recovering from her C-section. That decision ended up being for the best as my daughter was having problems settling Vito Noah down that evening. Yet again, we called for help from the nurse and were once more reassured that everything was normal.

Around 1:00 am, Vito Noah was still not settling down. The nurses came in, weighed him, and did some tests to find that his temperature was low and that his skin colour was quite red. We later learned that the proper response to this situation, particularly in light of Vito Noah’s excessive mucus production and red complexion – which can signal a fever, choking, or infection – would have been to inform a doctor and place Vito Noah in an incubator to maintain the physical environment appropriate for a newborn. However, instead of following protocol, the nurse decided to wrap Vito Noah in a hot towel. At 2:30 am, the nurse returned to find that Vito Noah’s temperature had improved, but that he was experiencing a sudden episode of pallor. Vito Noah seemed to spontaneously improve from this episode within a short time period.

At 6:00 am, when my daughter picked up Vito Noah to feed him, she knew immediately that something was wrong. She ran to the nurses’ station with Vito Noah, where a code blue was declared. Vito Noah was pulseless for 17 minutes while the medical staff worked to resuscitate him. This extended deprivation of oxygen due to Vito Noah’s cardiac arrest caused him to suffer a hypoxic brain injury. My infant grandson’s experience must have been horrible. A painful, terrifying inability to breathe that eventually led to his suffocation.

Vito Noah was put on life support for the next three days. The doctor was shocked to find Vito Noah on life support after the weekend. Shortly after the doctor left, the head nurse came in to see me and tried to convince me that the nurses did not do anything wrong. I told her to leave and that it was not the time for her to be so defensive.

On December 5, 2012, Vito Noah was removed from life support. Five days earlier my daughter and I had been the happiest of our lives. Now, we were the most devastated.

Filomena Colonna, Mother of Vito Noah

There were a lot of things that didn’t make sense about Vito Noah’s death. It’s not normal for a healthy baby born of a healthy pregnancy to pass away mere days after his birth while still in the hospital. The Coroner’s Office became involved with the situation while Vito Noah was still on life support. Their final report stated that Vito Noah’s cause of death was undetermined. There was no mention of the nurse and the failure to adhere to proper protocol. Instead, the report stated that Vito Noah’s cardiac arrest and hypoxic brain injury led to his death, but that they could not determine what had caused Vito Noah’s initial cardiac arrest event.

Furthermore, the Coroner’s Report did not adhere to policy set in 2012, suggesting that infant deaths deemed “undetermined” should be associated with the inconclusivity of SIDS deaths and other infant syndromes. Instead, the Report implied that my grandson’s cardiac or pulmonary conditions caused his death without addressing whether it was possible that Vito Noah’s issues arose because of the mucus retention that could have resulted from his C-section delivery. Additionally, the Report used many pointed statements to lay blame at my daughter’s feet. My daughter was on necessary and life-saving medication for Multiple Sclerosis that has not been determinatively shown to negatively impact pregnancies or breastfeeding practices, yet the Coroner’s Report hinted that her medications may have contributed to Vito Noah’s death.

This report exacerbated our devastation. We needed answers, but we weren’t getting them. Even more crucially, we needed justice. But we weren’t getting that either. We had no way of ensuring that this same mistake never happened to another baby.

I called every law firm in the phone book and got the same answer from all of them: Vito Noah’s life had no value under British Columbia’s wrongful death laws. This reality meant that there were no available damages and that there was nothing that they could do to help us. Vito Noah, our beautiful baby of five days, was considered worthless under the law because he did not have an income and dependents. This criteria has denied our family and many families in BC the right to justice and accountability.

No family should ever have to go through this. Change is needed in our province. Had this happened in any Canadian province other than BC, someone would have been held accountable for the negligence my grandson experienced at the hospital.

As we write this story, it’s been over 9 years and we still feel the acute pain of Vito Noah’s passing. That pain is made even worse by the lack of closure we have received. Our family will never be the same again.”


About the BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society

‘In Their Name’ is the campaign of ‘The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society’ – a BC registered non-profit organization comprised of volunteer families who have lost a loved one to wrongful death in BC and were denied access to justice. In response to the biggest human rights issue facing the province today, our goal is to modernize British Columbia’s antiquated wrongful death legislation, which predates confederation (1846). Under current legislation, the value of a human life is measured only by the deceased’s future lost income, so long as they had dependents.

As a result of the province’s antiquated law, access to justice has been denied to the families of the wrongfully killed who do not meet this discriminatory criteria. This has affected especially vulnerable groups, namely children, seniors, the disabled, and anyone without dependents when they are killed by the negligent or intentional acts of another.

BC is presently the last of all the provinces, yet to have undertaken this critical legislative modernization to allow for dignity, value, and protections for all its citizens under the law.

When it’s ‘free’ to kill in BC, wrongdoers are not held accountable. This lack of general deterrence holds the province back in terms of incentivizing innovation of safety measures and protocols to prevent wrongful deaths in the first place.

Here’s How You Can Get Involved…

The Premier of British Columbia, David Eby, is responsible for the modernization of BC’s wrongful death laws. Our Society provided David Eby with the drafted ‘Wrongful Death Accountability Act’ when he was acting as the Attorney General for British Columbia for 6 years between 2017-2022. The new Attorney General, Niki Sharma, also shares responsibility as she is the Minister responsible for the ‘Family Compensation Act’ – the current guiding piece of legislation that the civil courts must follow in cases of wrongful death. Minister Sharma receives feedback from the regional ‘Members of the Legislative Assembly’ (MLAs) and follows orders from the Premier, David Eby, who is ultimately responsible for modernization.

Reform is presently at a standstill, as the BC NDP government does not presently view access to justice for the surviving family members of the wrongfully killed as a priority in this province. This is despite the fact that the families behind our Society have been fighting for modernization for over two decades. And despite the fact that all other provinces, including the Yukon, have already modernized in most cases long ago.

The only way to move this forward is by creating massive public awareness and outcry for legislative modernization. Only under the scrutiny of the public and the media will our politicians be forced to take this necessary, and long overdue action.

How many more people will need to die from the same preventable wrongful actions before our politicians will do their job?

#1 Kindly consider supporting the public awareness advertising efforts of our volunteer led Society by Donating Now »

#2 In less than 30 seconds, with our automated tool you can Petition Your Local MLA »

#3 Share this story with friends and family on social media.

#4 Follow us on social media to stay updated: FacebookTwitterLinkedin, Instagram

We appreciate your support at this critical time!

Petition Your MLA Now

Unlike other Canadian provinces, BC has not made any significant amendments to its wrongful death legislation—ever. The current BC Family Compensation Act only values the lives of income-earners. This neglect must stop. Petitioning your local MLA, the Attorney General, and Premier with our automated tool can make a lasting difference to the lives of British Columbians for generations to come.

Dear Local MLA, Attorney General Niki Sharma, Premier David Eby, Minister of Health Adrian Dix, Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General Mike Farnworth,

I am writing to you about the preventable death of 5-day-old Vito Noah Colonna and British Columbia’s woefully outdated wrongful death laws; which are still based on colonial-era legislation from 1846.

BC’s current Family Compensation Act only takes into account the direct financial losses resulting from the wrongful death of a loved one. As a result, only the families of deceased breadwinners see the inside of a courtroom in cases of wrongful death.

Children, seniors, people with disabilities, or anyone who does not meet the discriminatory criteria of having both an income and dependents are classes of people whose lives are not valued or respected when they are killed in BC.

This is a human rights issue.

Investigations into the wrongful death of these classes of citizens most often do not occur because there is no ‘loss of earnings’ to cover civil trial costs.

Accordingly, families have been denied the ability to right the wrong and ensure that the same preventable actions which resulted in the wrongful death would not happen to another.

Unlike other provinces in Canada, which in most cases have modernized long ago, many of your constituents are considered “worthless” under the discriminatory law in British Columbia.

Vito Noah Colonna, sadly, is one of these cases where no accountability can be brought against the negligent parties who failed to provide appropriate care in the vital days following his birth. His story can be read here –

The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society is comprised of families who have been fighting for over two decades to see our laws modernized. They have drafted legislation that can solve this problem now.

These families based on each individual personal experience of loss have demanded that the legislation include the following tenets:

#1 The value of human life must not be based merely on whether the wrongfully killed was a breadwinner with dependants. There must be a legal recognition for the value of each life and the loss of love, guidance, care, companionship, and affection wrongfully taken from surviving family members.

#2 The value of human life must not be arbitrarily capped by legislation. Damages for the loss of life must be assessed individually by constitutionally independent superior courts, in recognition of the distinct relationship that existed between each of the surviving family members and the wrongfully killed loved one.
#3 All forms of non-pecuniary damages, including aggravated and punitive damages must be available under the legislation to be awarded in appropriate cases. Financial penalty assessed by a civil court when a wrongdoer maliciously, or recklessly kills another person is essential when criminal prosecution is not pursued or fails. General deterrence of future wrongdoing is an important objective.

#4 If an individual is not initially killed by a wrongful act, but later dies before the conclusion of litigation, this should not be a windfall for the wrongdoer. There should not be a perverse incentive for the wrongdoer to delay, or prolong litigation. Damages relating to conscious pain, suffering, and disability during the period between the wrong and the decedent’s death, including damages for loss of expectation of life, pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, or loss of amenities must remain available under the legislation.

#5 Families deserve the right to have their day in court with the ability to obtain professional legal representation on a contingency basis. No other piece of legislation in the province should bar the pursuit of an at-fault wrongful death claim against a negligent party. The contingency fee system does not discriminate socioeconomically, and it ensures the family can obtain the best representation necessary to obtain truth, justice, and accountability against a wrongdoer, no matter how big and powerful that wrongdoer might be. Families also deserve the right to have the case decided by a jury of their peers. This fundamental aspect of our democracy must be preserved.

What will you do to create a fair and adequate wrongful death law in BC?

Yours Truly,

Your Full Name
Your Address

cc: Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon, Liberal Critic for Attorney General Mike de Jong, Liberal Critic for Public Safety & Solicitor General Mike Morris, BC Greens Leader Sonia Furstenau

  • Your submission will be sent securely through this form to the elected representatives as outlined. Your address is required for our system to automatically route your letter to your local MLA. The BC Wrongful Death Law Reform Society will not share your personal information with any additional third parties without your prior consent.

    SSL Secure Connection

Fundraise or Donate »