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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vehicle crashes through carport in West Kelowna

The driver has been taken to hospital with minor injuries

PHOTOS: Okanagan residents capture epic lightning show

A look at some of the best shots of the storm on May 30

Big White Ski Resort to offer rebate for pass holders after early closure

Next year’s pass will include a 20 per cent rebate

‘No tick is a good tick’: Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

The foundation’s president said all ticks that attach to humans and pets can carry various diseases

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

Most Read