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Pittsburgh Zoo denies blame in toddler’s death

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium said the mother of a 2-year-old boy who was fatally mauled when he fell into a wild African dogs exhibit is to blame for her son’s death and should not be allowed to sue.

The zoo’s lawyers made that argument in a response filed this week to the wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh, whose son, Maddox, died Nov. 4 after falling into the exhibit when his mother lifted him up to get a better look.

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“The injuries and damages sustained by Maddox Derkosh, including Maddox Derkosh’s death, were caused solely by the carelessness, negligence, and/or recklessness of Elizabeth Derkosh,” the zoo’s lawyer wrote Monday in the court filing. She “knew or should have known he could fall.”

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