The CHU ordered to pay $ 1.6 million for an illegally terminated contract

CHU ordered to pay $1.6 million for terminated contract illegally


For having illegally terminated a contract for the massive digitization of hospital records in 2016, the CHU de Québec was ordered to pay an amount of $1.6 million to the company that had won the contract in more to have assumed the costs of a new call for tenders which had taken 15 months of delay.

In 2015, the CHU de Québec began digitizing all patient records in its hospitals. A project that was to be done at zero cost by calculating the attrition of archivist positions once the digitization was completed.

An initial call for tenders had been launched for 128 millions of images, then a second contract was awarded, this time to the firm Theodore Azuelos technology consultants (TACT) in 2015 for 98 million files of deceased persons from three hospitals for $3.6 M.

However, “irritants occur from the first weeks”. The CHU identifies problems in the quality of digitization and processing of urgent requests. 

A meeting takes place in January 2016 where the CHU “unilaterally sets a probationary period”. and a month later, suspends the contract without explanation. A letter where the CHU ” terminates the contract with immediate effect ” explaining the reasons.

The TACT company therefore filed a lawsuit claiming more than $2 million for having illegally terminated the contract, which the hospital center opposed. A trial judge finally ruled in favor of the TACT company, considering that the public body did not respect the procedure which required in particular the prior sending of a formal notice. 


“The judge finds that the appellant decrees the immediate termination of the contract without granting the respondent any time to amend”, is it written. The contract was in the start-up stage as termination “equates to capital punishment,” the trial judge wrote.

The CHU appealed the decision, but both the first judge that all three judges of the Court of Appeal concluded the same noting that the termination was “premature” and that the CHU had a “distorted vision of the quality of the work performed”.

The judges recalled that the termination of the contract required a new, more expensive call for tenders in addition to creating a delay of 15 months. The Court of Appeal thus upheld the decision of the trial judge who ordered the CHU to pay the sum of $1,622,677 to TACT in addition to the interest to be calculated for almost seven years now. 

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