This is a terrible tragedy and there are a lot of fingers pointing at both the mother of the child and the zookeepers. As with most claims of personal injury, there is probably some validity to the arguments on both sides. The mother probably should not have lifted the boy over the rail (if that is in fact what happened) but, the zoo, if they had notice that patrons were routinely getting in and around the top of the railing, may very well have had a duty to make the enclosure more safe. Because Pennsylvania is a comparative fault rather than a pure “contributory negligence” state, this is likely to be a case where fault is apportioned on both sides and recovery of money damages is adjusted according to the percentage of fault found by a jury. For example, if the mother is found to be 40 percent at fault, the jury’s total award to her for any wrongful death claims would be reduced by 40%.
See on news.yahoo.com