Boy falls from Florida zip line
A mother from Florida is suing an indoor entertainment park after her 10-year-old son was injured after falling 20 to 25 feet from a zip line and onto the concrete surface below, according to a lawsuit filed by the mother.
The incident took place Sept. 1 at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Lakeland, Florida.
The boy’s mother, Kimberly Barnes, said in a news conference that her son was at the park celebrating his friend’s birthday. Approximately an hour after the park opened, Barnes said that she received a phone call informing her that her son had fallen from a harness.
Barnes was told that her son had to be airlifted “because it was a trauma situation at that point.”
The boy, who was not named in the lawsuit, was admitted to Tampa General Hospital where he had surgery and was treated for several days, according to the family’s attorney. The boy broke several bones and suffered a collapsed lung and brain injury, Barnes’ attorney Steven Capriati said.
Barnes is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, according to the lawsuit.
While the child is back in school, he is only able to attend “as he can tolerate it” and there are some days when he can’t go, according to Barnes. She said, “Every day is a struggle for normalcy for him” and he would like to get back to his normal routine.
In a video shared by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the boy could be seen falling off of a zip line called the “Sky Rider Coaster.”
The boy appears to hit his head on the concrete floor on impact in the video.
“Our inspector noted no deficiencies in the equipment at the time of the incident nor did Urban Air have a history of device deficiencies during prior inspections of the facility,” the FDACS said in a statement to CNN. “The report indicates that the incident was a result of operator error.”
According to the FDACS incident report, the boy was seen in a video walking from the harness area to the dispatch area “without having his harness fully secured.” During the video, the investigator notes that the “leg straps can be seen not buckled” and that he could be seen “holding his body weight with his arms” while riding the Sky Rider.
“Urban Air is fully committed to the uncompromising safety and well-being of our guests and employees,” the park said in a statement shared with CNN affiliate WFLA. “As a family owned and operated company, safety is at the heart of everything we do. We take matters of this nature very seriously and can assure that appropriate measures have been taken.”
The park said that all staff members have been “retrained on all attractions” and the “employees in question are no longer with us.”
CNN’s Giovanna Van Leeuwen contributed to this story.