But since then, people have been speculating whether or not the boy’s parents would file charges against the zoo for the accident. After all, shouldn’t a negligent property owner be held responsible when unsafe conditions result in injuries to another person? Believing that the zoo was negligent in this instance, the parents of the young boy did, in fact, decide to take legal action against the zoo.
According the lawsuit that was filed, the boy’s parents have accused the zoo of negligence and wrongful death of their son. They argue that the zoo should have taken precautions at the African wild dog exhibit to protect people from falling into the exhibit.
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To remind readers, the boy was being lifted up by his mother at the exhibit so that he could get a better view of the animals. He suddenly lunged forward out of his mother’s arms and fell from the viewing platform on which they had been standing. He fell through a hole in a small, weak net and into the cage where he was attacked by the animals. By the time zoo officials could get into the exhibit, the little boy had died.
The parents filed their lawsuit after the zoo refused to take any responsibility for the accident, and they are now requesting more than $300,000 in damages. The family maintains that the zoo knew about the dangers at the exhibit and that there was a very serious risk that a person could fall into it, but they failed to take action to remedy the hazardous condition.
Whether the zoo will be held accountable for this horrific accident or not remains to be seen.
Source: NBC News, “Pittsburgh zoo blames mom for son’s deadly mauling,” Jonathan Barnes, Sept. 12, 2013