The family of a toddler who died in an unlicensed Vancouver daycare two years ago say they have been unable to locate the business’ owner to sue her.
Sixteen-month-old Mac Saini, known as Baby Mac, died at the Olive Branch Daycare on Jan. 18, 2017.
According to a lawsuit filed by Saini’s family, his mother Shelley Sheppard arrived at the East Vancouver home where the daycare operated to find the facility overcrowded with children and her son lifeless on the floor.
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The suit alleges Baby Mac died after choking on an electrical cord and alleges negligence, claiming the toddler was left alone.
But while the suit was initially filed back in September 2018, the family has been unable to track down Yasmine Saad, also known as Suzy Ahmed Saad, who ran the daycare, in order to serve her with the lawsuit.
The family hired a “skip tracer” — a specialist in tracking down debtors and fugitives — who spent seven months trying to find the daycare operator but came up empty-handed, according to new documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court late last month.
The documents say Mac’s family then wrote to Saad’s criminal lawyer about accepting service of the legal paperwork on her behalf. However, according to the documents, the family has still been unable to serve the necessary paperwork.
The family is now seeking a court order to have the papers served to Saad’s criminal lawyer on her behalf.
Baby Mac’s family is also suing the province and Vancouver Coastal Health. Both agencies have filed their responses with the B.C. Supreme Court and have denied any responsibility for Baby Mac’s death.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
In the wake of Baby Mac’s death, his parents have become vocal advocates for reform of the province’s child-care system, which they say is too expensive and saddled with unacceptable wait lists.