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

Parents of B.C. toddler who died in unlicensed daycare sue operator, health authority

‘Baby Mac’ was only 16 months old when he died in a Vancouver daycare

The mother of a baby who died in an unlicensed Vancouver daycare is suing those who she alleged failed to take care of him.

In a civil suit filed in B.C. Supreme Court Monday, Shelley Sheppard claims that Vancouver Coastal Health, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Olive Branch Daycare failed to keep her Mac Saini, her 16-month-old son, safe.

Sheppard describes how on Jan. 18, 2017, barely a week after first sending Mac to Olive Branch Daycare, she arrive to find him lying on the floor with “a grey pallor.”

The suit alleges that Mac had “been left unattended and had choked on an electrical cord, causing his death.”

READ MORE: Mom of B.C. toddler who died in unlicensed daycare calls on premier to create registry

Sheppard says Yasmeed Saad, the operator of the daycare, was “yelling and screaming and attempting to resuscitate Mac Saini in a perfunctory way.”

Witnessing her son’s death and seeing his lifeless body was “shocking and horrifying.”

In the suit, Sheppard alleges that Vancouver Coastal Health had been well aware of complaints that Olive Branch Daycare was taking care of too many kids without a licence.

“Despite their knowledge of Defendant Saad’s multiple breaches…. VCHA and MCFD had never fined” Saad, nor did they take any steps to stop her from operating a daycare with too many children.

“But for the failures of VCHA and MCFD, their agents and employees, Mac Saini’s care and saftey would not have been at risk such that he lost his life,” the suit reads.

Sheppard alleges that since Mac’s death, she’s suffered fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and had a miscarriage.

The suit seeks a declaration from the province and Vancouver Coastal Health that Mac was “deprived of his right to life and security of person,” as well as damages for the harm suffered by Shepperd since her son’s death due to “reckless” action by the government and health authority’s employees.

The suit further alleges Saad allowed her unlicensed daycare to become overcrowded and did not keep it “safe and suitable” for children.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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