After a 10-year-old boy suffered a brain injury falling 20 feet from an indoor zip line at a Florida amusement park, his mother is suing the company for allegedly causing the "horrific" event by failing to protect the young child.
Kimberly Barnes’ son was at a birthday party on Sept. 1 at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Lakeland, Florida, when he was on a zip line called “Sky Rider” and fell after slipping out of his harness.
“He went to go have fun that day. He went to go celebrate his friend’s birthday and literally maybe an hour, an hour and a half after they were open I literally got a phone that he had fallen…,” Barnes said at a press conference broadcasted by WTSP.
“Everything stopped for me. My brain was like, where is he? I need to get to him," the mom said.
The boy, who was not named, suffered broken bones, a punctured lung and a brain injury. He was airlifted to the hospital and had to have surgery.
Surveillance footage captured the boy’s fall. Barnes described the footage she saw as unbelievable.
“It kills me. When I saw the severity of the entire fall, it was like reliving it all over again,” Barnes told the station. “It was the worst thing I could have watched in my life."
Investigators said that the fall was caused by an unsecured harness. The child’s leg straps were not fastened properly, leaving him to try to hold on by just his arms.
The mom is now suing the park for an amount in excess of $15,000, claiming the fall was caused by an “operator error.”
“When parents bring their children to a facility like this, they are led to believe that the facility and its employees have both the proper safety measures and protocols in place – and the training, knowledge, and ability needed to implement them. We believe that Urban Air failed, at every level, to protect our client. 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. 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," an attorney for the family said in a statement to InsideEdition.com
“I relied on the people there to do their job,” Barnes told WTSP. “These places are dangerous and if you are going to take your children there, do your research.”
The Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park said in a statement to InsideEdition.com that customer safety is a main priority for the company.
"Urban Air is fully committed to the uncompromising safety and well-being of our guests and employees. 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. All staff members have been retrained on all attractions and the employees in question are no longer with us. We are thankful to hear that the child is back in school and we will continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers through his full recovery," the statement said.
Barnes said her son is on the road to recovery, but it’s still hard some days.
“He wants to have his normal life back but it’s a day-by-day process for him,” the mom added.