Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby slappybrown on Thu May 23, 2013 12:33 pm

Mongeluzzi is one of the best plaintiff's attorneys in the Northeast.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby GaryRissling on Thu May 23, 2013 12:34 pm

Surprised they're only suing for $300k. Seems a low figure for such a high profile incident.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu May 23, 2013 12:42 pm

I criticized putting the kid on the railing at the time, but figured that the poor woman would punish herself enough for what happened.

With this news, good for the mom going for a nice, large sum of money to soothe the fact that her stupid decision directly led to her son's death.

Liability-wise, she will easily win or command a settlement.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby slappybrown on Thu May 23, 2013 12:46 pm

I haven't kept up generally or with this thread, but did she put him on the railing? I don't recall. I thought they were at the railing and he squirmed free.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Bioshock on Thu May 23, 2013 12:47 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:I criticized putting the kid on the railing at the time, but figured that the poor woman would punish herself enough for what happened.

With this news, good for the mom going for a nice, large sum of money to soothe the fact that her stupid decision directly led to her son's death.

Liability-wise, she will easily win or command a settlement.



This is why i have no sympathy (For the parents). Knew this was coming. So what now? You sue because you're a dumbass? Please....

Also, i see these toy donations going on in the name of the kid that died in the mauling. That's nice but also really weird...

Just feels really odd to be doing charity in the name of a kid who was killed via stupidity. I don't know.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Pavel Bure on Thu May 23, 2013 12:52 pm

*walks in thread*

*has a thought*

*pauses*

Image
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu May 23, 2013 12:55 pm

This is despicable. I hate present day society.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby MRandall25 on Thu May 23, 2013 12:56 pm

GaryRissling wrote:Surprised they're only suing for $300k. Seems a low figure for such a high profile incident.


I guess 300k is low enough that they think the zoo won't fight as hard to shed light on the mother's mistakes
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu May 23, 2013 12:59 pm

The last word I remember reading about it is that she was holding the child against her upper torso. there was an enclosed part of the observation deck and the open part the boy fell through. he was apparently kicking or smacking the enclosed part and when the mother spun around into the open area he kept kicking but there was no wall to push back on and his momentum carried him into the exhibit.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Thu May 23, 2013 1:16 pm

I wish I could remember if I ever thought like all of you on this kind of stuff. I can't really remember what I thought before I became a plaintiff's attorney. As it stands, I have a hard time understanding the outrage.

Edit: It is at least $300k. If they win, they'll get a whole lot more than that.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Defence21 on Thu May 23, 2013 1:46 pm

Kraftster wrote:I wish I could remember if I ever thought like all of you on this kind of stuff. I can't really remember what I thought before I became a plaintiff's attorney. As it stands, I have a hard time understanding the outrage.

Edit: It is at least $300k. If they win, they'll get a whole lot more than that.

The outrage is that a woman was stupid, which lead to her child's gruesome death, and yet she has the nerve to blame the zoo. It's wonderful that society allows idiots to not only escape responsibility, but to place blame elsewhere and gain monetarily as a result.

It's like the idiot who sued McDonald's and won because she was burnt by her coffee. Zero responsibility.

It's sickening, really.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu May 23, 2013 1:47 pm

Defence21 wrote:
Kraftster wrote:I wish I could remember if I ever thought like all of you on this kind of stuff. I can't really remember what I thought before I became a plaintiff's attorney. As it stands, I have a hard time understanding the outrage.

Edit: It is at least $300k. If they win, they'll get a whole lot more than that.

The outrage is that a woman was stupid, which lead to her child's gruesome death, and yet she has the nerve to blame the zoo. It's wonderful that society allows idiots to not only escape responsibility, but to place blame elsewhere and gain monetarily as a result.

It's like the idiot who sued McDonald's and won because she was burnt by her coffee. Zero responsibility.

It's sickening, really.


I'm pretty sure that the most important part of Law school is the cleansing of any kind of morals.

no offense to kraftster. :pop:
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Thu May 23, 2013 2:00 pm

Defence21 wrote:
Kraftster wrote:I wish I could remember if I ever thought like all of you on this kind of stuff. I can't really remember what I thought before I became a plaintiff's attorney. As it stands, I have a hard time understanding the outrage.

Edit: It is at least $300k. If they win, they'll get a whole lot more than that.

The outrage is that a woman was stupid, which lead to her child's gruesome death, and yet she has the nerve to blame the zoo. It's wonderful that society allows idiots to not only escape responsibility, but to place blame elsewhere and gain monetarily as a result.

It's like the idiot who sued McDonald's and won because she was burnt by her coffee. Zero responsibility.

It's sickening, really.


Do we know that she is blaming the zoo entirely? Perhaps she is willing to admit the part she played in causing this death but believes that a zoo which displays highly lethal animals should have procedures in place for when things go wrong. This isn't like someone suing the Denver movie theater for not having a plan for responding to someone who starts firing automatic weapons. Its fairly foreseeable that things could go wrong and someone might end up on the wrong side of an enclosure. The zoo effectively did nothing to respond.

The responses to the lawsuit basically read to me as something approaching, "hey, if you make a (fairly innocent so far as I can tell) mistake as a parent and your kid ends up dead, tough." I'm not sure that's a much better commentary on society than seeking to hold the zoo accountable for doing a poor job of keeping patrons safe.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby bhaw on Thu May 23, 2013 2:07 pm

Kraftster wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
Kraftster wrote:I wish I could remember if I ever thought like all of you on this kind of stuff. I can't really remember what I thought before I became a plaintiff's attorney. As it stands, I have a hard time understanding the outrage.

Edit: It is at least $300k. If they win, they'll get a whole lot more than that.

The outrage is that a woman was stupid, which lead to her child's gruesome death, and yet she has the nerve to blame the zoo. It's wonderful that society allows idiots to not only escape responsibility, but to place blame elsewhere and gain monetarily as a result.

It's like the idiot who sued McDonald's and won because she was burnt by her coffee. Zero responsibility.

It's sickening, really.


Do we know that she is blaming the zoo entirely? Perhaps she is willing to admit the part she played in causing this death but believes that a zoo which displays highly lethal animals should have procedures in place for when things go wrong. This isn't like someone suing the Denver movie theater for not having a plan for responding to someone who starts firing automatic weapons. Its fairly foreseeable that things could go wrong and someone might end up on the wrong side of an enclosure. The zoo effectively did nothing to respond.

The responses to the lawsuit basically read to me as something approaching, "hey, if you make a (fairly innocent so far as I can tell) mistake as a parent and your kid ends up dead, tough." I'm not sure that's a much better commentary on society than seeking to hold the zoo accountable for doing a poor job of keeping patrons safe.


1 death in 114 years is a poor job of keeping people safe? By the sounds of it the way you are posing it, people die at the zoo regularly.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Thu May 23, 2013 2:10 pm

bhaw wrote:
Kraftster wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
Kraftster wrote:I wish I could remember if I ever thought like all of you on this kind of stuff. I can't really remember what I thought before I became a plaintiff's attorney. As it stands, I have a hard time understanding the outrage.

Edit: It is at least $300k. If they win, they'll get a whole lot more than that.

The outrage is that a woman was stupid, which lead to her child's gruesome death, and yet she has the nerve to blame the zoo. It's wonderful that society allows idiots to not only escape responsibility, but to place blame elsewhere and gain monetarily as a result.

It's like the idiot who sued McDonald's and won because she was burnt by her coffee. Zero responsibility.

It's sickening, really.


Do we know that she is blaming the zoo entirely? Perhaps she is willing to admit the part she played in causing this death but believes that a zoo which displays highly lethal animals should have procedures in place for when things go wrong. This isn't like someone suing the Denver movie theater for not having a plan for responding to someone who starts firing automatic weapons. Its fairly foreseeable that things could go wrong and someone might end up on the wrong side of an enclosure. The zoo effectively did nothing to respond.

The responses to the lawsuit basically read to me as something approaching, "hey, if you make a (fairly innocent so far as I can tell) mistake as a parent and your kid ends up dead, tough." I'm not sure that's a much better commentary on society than seeking to hold the zoo accountable for doing a poor job of keeping patrons safe.


1 death in 114 years is a poor job of keeping people safe? By the sounds of it the way you are posing it, people die at the zoo regularly.


That is likely a testament to the fact that the zoo responded appropriately in other situations where some hapless mother tried to kill her child.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu May 23, 2013 2:12 pm

In response to numerous media inquiries, we can confirm that we have filed a Civil Complaint in the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas asserting claims that include wrongful death and negligence, resulting from the November 4, 2012, fatal mauling of two-year-old Maddox Derkosh by a pack of African wild dogs on the grounds of the Pittsburgh Zoo. The Complaint, which names the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and the Zoological Society of Pittsburgh as defendants, was filed on behalf of Elizabeth and Jason Derkosh, parents of Maddox Derkosh. He was their only child.

Our Complaint details the events -- including the litany of institutional lapses in fundamental exhibit design, safety, and security that caused Maddox's death. Elizabeth and Jason have asked us to find out why the Zoo had an unsafe exhibit, why they ignored warnings from their own employee regarding the very danger that killed Maddox and to ensure that no other family has to suffer the same unimaginable tragedy.

The filing marks just the beginning of the legal process to demonstrate that the death of Maddox Derkosh was absolutely preventable and that the Zoo failed in its responsibility to protect Maddox -- and every other visitor to the wild dog exhibit -- from harm. We now know, and the Complaint details, that the Zoo's management was warned, before the tragedy, by at least one employee, that parents would lift their children to see through the viewing enclosure "at least ten" times every day. Rather than thanking their employee for bringing this hazard to their attention, and then correcting it, the Zoo curtly reprimanded him and told him, "This is not your concern, go back to work."

Tragically, Maddox fell as his mother held him to see into the exhibit through the viewing opening. The Complaint details and includes photos of the precautions taken by other Zoos to protect their patrons from African wild dogs including the use of barrier glass, moats, and wire mesh, preventing the very tragedy that occurred at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

The Zoo knew or should have known how to protect its visitors from the killer dogs, and the fatal consequences that would likely result when "human prey" suddenly appeared in their territory. Any chance of survival was diminished by the Zoo's abysmal emergency response plan, which included blank and useless tranquilizer darts.

Elizabeth and Jason are loving parents. They still mourn. They still hurt and will hurt the rest of their lives. They deeply appreciate the support of the greater Pittsburgh community and they are determined to do what they can to ensure that what happened to their only child can never happen again at the Pittsburgh Zoo, or at any zoo. They remain especially grateful for the outpouring of love and goodwill for the "Trucks for Maddox" holiday toy truck drive that celebrates the legacy of Maddox and his caring for other kids.

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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby bhaw on Thu May 23, 2013 2:13 pm

Kraftster wrote:
That is likely a testament to the fact that the zoo responded appropriately in other situations where some hapless mother tried to kill her child.


How many other 3 year olds have managed to throw themselves over the walls of zoo enclosures? I'd be interested to see how many times the zoo has catapulted children into dangerous exhibits to see how fast they become animal food. :pop:
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby mac5155 on Thu May 23, 2013 2:13 pm

If they were suing to get the safety measures implemented, fine. Don't go after the $.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby bhaw on Thu May 23, 2013 2:15 pm

Is PA a state where they divide the award based on % of liability (can't remember the technical term)? Or is it all or nothing?
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Thu May 23, 2013 2:19 pm

Well, that (likely former) zoo employee that came to the family to tell them about their efforts to have the safety of the exhibit enhanced has too much sympathy for dumb parents. He/she should get with the program and just let the kids with bad parents die. It is not the zoos job to make sure that their exhibits are safe.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu May 23, 2013 2:27 pm

Kraftster wrote:It is not the zoos job to make sure that their exhibits are safe.


I know you're being facetious, but what exactly is a safe exhibit - one that is completely caged in and closed off? He could fall into the tiger or bear pens just as easily. Those the fall would likely be what killed him since it would be 20 feet down onto rocks and concrete.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Thu May 23, 2013 2:32 pm

bhaw wrote:Is PA a state where they divide the award based on % of liability (can't remember the technical term)? Or is it all or nothing?


Under PA's comparative negligence statute, if an injured party was contributorily negligent, they can recover so long as they were not more than 50% responsible for the harm, but they can only recover the % attributable to the tortfeasor(s).

I'm not sure, though, whether the mother's negligence would be viewed in a contributory light, though, since it is the kid that was injured, not the mother. The mother may be a joint tortfeasor, which would mean that a jury would apportion the blame between mother and zoo. In that scenario, the estate could recover whatever percentage the zoo is found liable against the zoo, even if it's 5, 10, 20%, etc. So long as the zoo is found to be less than 60% at fault, the zoo will only owe its share in this scenario (a fairly recent law in PA). If the zoo is more than 60% at fault and the mother is seen as a joint tortfeasor, the estate could recover the entire amount of damages against the zoo. (Under the old law, if the zoo was even 1% at fault, the plaintff could recover 100% of the verdict against the zoo).
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Kraftster on Thu May 23, 2013 2:37 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:
Kraftster wrote:It is not the zoos job to make sure that their exhibits are safe.


I know you're being facetious, but what exactly is a safe exhibit - one that is completely caged in and closed off? He could fall into the tiger or bear pens just as easily. Those the fall would likely be what killed him since it would be 20 feet down onto rocks and concrete.


Well, I guess I mean that they have to sufficiently protect the patrons from foreseeable harm. If employees were telling supervisors that they thought a kid was going to fall into the exhibit where the fence/glass did not cover, then they should have reasonably expected something like this to happen.

I think I remember discussing this in here before, but I don't recall any of the exhibits at the zoo having huge pits immediately on the other side of railings. I seem to recall at least some small area on the other side that is level with the ground on the patron side of the exhibits (serving to at least prevent the huge falls that you are referencing).

And, yes, I was being facetious. I just don't understand the harsh view that folks are taking here. I mean, I'm the first person to say that we should hold people accountable for being stupid, but I'm generally considered to be an *******, so I just didn't think that was a widely held view.
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby shmenguin on Thu May 23, 2013 2:39 pm

mac5155 wrote:If they were suing to get the safety measures implemented, fine. Don't go after the $.


that's what i was thinking. i don't really understand people who go after cash grabs when confronted with tragedy (barring some sort of gross negligence). wouldn't you want to just try to move on with your life?
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Re: Tragedy today at Pittsburgh Zoo

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu May 23, 2013 2:39 pm

Kraftster wrote:And, yes, I was being facetious. I just don't understand the harsh view that folks are taking here. I mean, I'm the first person to say that we should hold people accountable for being stupid, but I'm generally considered to be an *******, so I just didn't think that was a widely held view.


The first person to say we should hold people accountable for being stupid or the first person to try to profit off of other people when someone who was stupid is willing to pay you?
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