The Pittsburgh Zoo has stated that the mother of a child tragically mauled to death by wild African dogs is the cause of her son’s death and should be barred from damages.
The child, two-year old Maddox Derkosh, was visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo with his mother, Elizabeth Derkosh on November 4, 2012. The Zoo is alleging that the boy’s mother was negligent by holding him up on a four-foot railing to get a better view of an African dog exhibit. The child tragically fell into the enclosure and autopsy reports revealed the boy was killed not by the fall, but by injuries sustained as a result of the wild dog attack.
At the time of Maddox Derkosh’s death, the exhibit had an observation deck which was only partially enclosed. Because Maddox had poor eyesight, Elizabeth lifted her son to get a better view. Elizabeth, and at least one other witness, stated that Maddox lurched forward and escaped his mother’s grasp, causing him to fall through the unprotected opening.