Mother whose 10-year-old fell from zip line files lawsuit in Florida
The mother of a 10-year-old boy who suffered serious injuries after falling from a zip line in September has filed a lawsuit.
Kimberly Barnes, of Lakeland, Florida, is suing Urban Air Adventure Park, also in Lakeland. The suit filed on Monday claims employees failed to check or secure the boy’s harness at safety checkpoints before he went on the ride.
“He went to go have fun that day,” Barnes said. “He was with his friend to celebrate his friend’s birthday, and maybe literally an hour, hour and a half, after they were open, I got a phone call that he had fallen from a harness.”
“He was going to be airlifted because it was a trauma situation at that point, and that’s when I lost it,” she added.
According to a statement from the family’s law firm, Morgan & Morgan, the boy’s harness gave way seconds after leaving the “Sky Ride” platform, and he fell over 20 feet, landing on cement.
He was airlifted to a hospital, where he spent five days, with serious injuries. He required surgery for broken bones, a collapsed lung and a brain injury.
Barnes said that her son is still recovering, adding that his behavior and attitude have changed and he still misses school days when he can’t tolerate the pain.
“In this case, three different people supposedly trained on safety procedures failed to take the necessary steps to ensure our client’s safety, and the result was horrific,” the family’s attorneys said in a statement. “But this isn’t just employee failure; we believe it was the lack of proper training and oversight by management as well a failure to have appropriate safety measures in place in the event of employee error.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture told ABC News that the agency’s inspector “noted no deficiencies in the equipment at the time of the incidents nor did Urban Air have a history of device deficiencies during prior inspections of the facility. The report indicates that the incident was a result of operator error.”
ABC News reached out to Urban Air for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.