Mac Saini was just 16 months old when he died in an unlicensed B.C. daycare. (Submitted)

Health authority denies wrongdoing in B.C. toddler’s death at daycare

The 16-month-old, also known as Baby Mac, died in January 2017 at Olive Branch Daycare in Vancouver

The regional health authority in charge of overseeing the operations of daycares in Vancouver says it was not responsible for the death of a B.C. toddler at an unlicensed daycare.

The mother of Macallan Wayne Saini, Shelly Sheppard, filed the lawsuit in September.

The 16-month-old, also known as Baby Mac, died in January 2017 at Olive Branch Daycare in Vancouver. According to court documents that name Vancouver Coastal Health, Sheppard said she “understands that Mac Saini has been left unattended and had choked on an electrical causing his death.”

The civil suit has listed the health authority, the Ministry of Child and Family Development, daycare operator Yasmine Saad and building owners Karen Pearl Kruse and Peter Andrew Scott as defendants.

Sheppard argued the health authority and MCFD, which both oversee the standards for daycare facilities in the region, were aware of and had investigated multiple complaints of the daycare operating without a licence, dating as far back as 2010.

Baby Mac’s death sparked provincewide debate on regulating childcare. Sheppard and the child’s father, Chris Saini, called on the B.C. government to create a registry for daycare operators and more affordable childcare options to increase safety.

READ MORE: Parents mourning death of toddler call on province for $10-a-day childcare

Sheppard’s lawsuit also claims she has suffered fatigue, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder since her son’s death.

She is seeking payment for a number of damages, including loss of earnings, as well as a declaration by officials that Baby Mac was deprived of his right to life and security contrary to his human rights.

According to court documents, the health authority had identified daycare operator Saad as a “moderate risk to health and safety,” but had never fined her.

In a response to her claim, filed Dec. 5, Vancouver Coastal Health denied any negligence, claiming it had no knowledge Saad was running an unlicensed facility.

It also said while it had received four complaints about Saad, they each involved different addresses and all related to caring for too many kids, not about being unlicensed. The health authority said each complaint was dealt with.

The health authority is asking the court to dismiss the claim, with costs.

No other respondents have filed a statement of defence. None of the allegations has been proven in court.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

2019 Federal election: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address seniors issues

“What are your party’s plans to ease the stress realized by seniors on fixed incomes?”

WATCH: Jordan now a key member on staff at Parksville business

Disability Awareness Month celebrated around province

RDN wants to play role in Ballenas track upgrade

Bringing dilapidated facility up to standard could cost close to $1M

Qualicum Beach joins in on global climate strike

Participants urge government to adequately address climate crisis

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read