AUGUSTA, Maine — After several attempts to serve an adult babysitter — the mother of the youngest Mainer ever charged with manslaughter — with a 13-count lawsuit for negligence in the death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, the courts have approved a newspaper ad as an alternative means to service the notice.
Maine Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy approved the alternative serving Aug. 8, attorney Sheldon Tepler of Lewiston, who is representing the baby’s mother, Nicole Greenaway of Waterville, said Friday.
“There is 90 days to serve the defendant,” Tepler said. “If you don’t serve them within 90 days, you can get into trouble.”
Greenaway filed the 13-count lawsuit for negligence in Kennebec County Superior Court in June against her former friend and co-worker, Amanda Huard, and her daughter.
Greenaway dropped off her 3-month-old daughter at Huard’s house in Fairfield on July 7, 2012, to have Huard babysit her.
Huard’s 10-year-old daughter, who is now 12, later was charged with manslaughter in the death of Greenaway’s daughter, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway. The 3-month-old was drugged, suffocated and found unresponsive on the morning of July 8, 2012. The infant died at a hospital later in the day. The Bangor Daily News is not naming the girl because she is a juvenile.
The state dropped the manslaughter charge against the 12-year-old girl in May in exchange for guilty pleas to lesser charges, Assistant Attorney General William Stokes said at the time. Stokes said he is barred from releasing details of the charges or penalties under the juvenile criminal code.
The girl will be subject to long-term supervision and counseling in exchange for dismissal of the felony charge, officials said.
Greenaway’s civil lawsuit focuses on multiple claims of negligence against Huard and her daughter, and it includes claims of suffering and emotional distress suffered by an older sister of Brooklyn, who was in the same room when the assault took place. The lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages.
Deputies in Somerset and Franklin counties attempted to serve the court papers to Huard at her Center Road home in Fairfield, but it was empty, Tepler said.
“It’s been on the market for a while,” the attorney said.
Deputies also went to her Main Street apartment in Jay, but no one answered the door, Tepler said.
“I’m sure the defendant is around; Mrs. Huard is around,” he said. “She has been spotted. We know she’s around, but it has been very hard to service her (with the lawsuit).”
The newspaper notice informing Huard the lawsuit has been filed against her must run for three consecutive weeks. The notice has not yet started to run, Tepler said.
“It has to be published three times. After that is done, service is accomplished,” the attorney said. “I want to avoid any possibility of failing to serve her.”
John Martin of Skowhegan, who represented the girl, said in an email Friday he filed an eight-page answer with the courts July 16, denying Greenaway’s allegations.