Quebec (defendant) had a public system that provided universal healthcare. To try to preserve the quality and integrity of this public system, Quebec had a law prohibiting people from buying private health insurance for any service offered under the public system. This law essentially eliminated all private health insurance and meant that private-sector services were available only to people who could pay cash for them. However, the public system had notoriously long wait times for many treatments, including life-saving treatments like heart surgery and time-sensitive treatments like ligament repairs. Although private-sector treatments were available much faster, without private health insurance, most Quebec residents were forced to accept the long wait times for public care. George Zeliotis (plaintiff) was a Quebec resident who sought treatment from the Quebec public-healthcare system for multiple health issues but who had difficulty due to the long wait times. Dr. Jacques Chaoulli (plaintiff) was a Quebec doctor who encountered repeated legal obstacles in his attempts to provide medical services in the private sector. Zeliotis and Chaoulli sued to have the private-health-insurance ban overturned. The superior court dismissed Zeliotis and Chaoulli’s motion for a declaratory judgment. The court of appeal affirmed. The case ended up in front of the Canadian Supreme Court.