Boy's Mauling Death Is Mom's Fault: Zoo

Pittsburgh Zoo doesn't think Derkosh family should be allowed to sue

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 12, 2013 2:26 PM CDT | Updated Sep 12, 2013 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium says the mother of a 2-year-old boy fatally mauled in a wild African dogs exhibit is to blame in her son's death and shouldn't be allowed to sue. The claim filed Monday in Allegheny County is in response to a lawsuit brought by the parents of Maddox Derkosh. Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh are seeking unspecified damages in the Nov. 4 death of Maddox, who fell over a 4-foot railing into the exhibit after his mother lifted him up to get a better look.

The zoo says in the court filing that Maddox's death was "caused solely by the carelessness, negligence, and/or recklessness of Elizabeth Derkosh." The parents' attorney, Robert Mongeluzzi, said in a statement yesterday that "the zoo's position is dead wrong and shameful."

Reporters and photographers gather at an observation area of the exhibit of African painted dogs at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium near the overlook platform where Maddox Derkosh was killed.
Reporters and photographers gather at an observation area of the exhibit of African painted dogs at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium near the overlook platform where Maddox Derkosh was killed.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, file)
Jason Derkosh holds his wife, Elizabeth, at the funeral of their 2-year-old son, Maddox, at Saint Bernard Church in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.
Jason Derkosh holds his wife, Elizabeth, at the funeral of their 2-year-old son, Maddox, at Saint Bernard Church in Mount Lebanon, Pa., on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Justin Merriman)
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