Pittsburgh Zoo fails to get mauling lawsuit tossed

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit in the fatal mauling death of a 2-year-old boy who fell into a wild African dogs exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Zoo attorneys argued a strict liability claim should not go forward, saying there’s no “abnormal risk to the public” when people have a chance to view wild animals.

But Allegheny County Judge Paul Lutty agreed with attorneys for the Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh that the risk can’t be determined until both sides exchange evidence before trial.

The couple is seeking unspecified damages in the Nov. 4 death of their son, Maddox, who fell over a wooden railing after his mother lifted him up to get a better look at the dogs.

The zoo has moved the dogs to other zoos and houses cheetahs in the exhibit.

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