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-tall 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 Wednesday that "the zoo's position is dead wrong and shameful."
In the family's lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Zoo, they claim the zoo had been warned by several of its own employees "of the very tragedy that would take Maddox's life, ignored the warnings, and told at least one of those employees, that 'this is not your concern, go back to work.'"