Family sues Lakeland zip line attraction after boy falls 20 feet

A Lakeland family is suing an amusement park after a 10-year-old boy fell 20 feet from a zipline.

On Sept. 1, the lawsuit alleges he fell after not being properly secured by employees at the Lakeland location of Urban Air Adventure Park.

"You see a child, you see any person, fall like that, with that force, land on the concrete surface, as a human being, you should be horrified," said lawyer Steven Capriati, who is representing the family. "As an attorney, I was appalled."

The suit says the boy should have been harnessed, then checked, and then double-checked by three separate employees before being let loose. 

Instead, the suit says, "The boy was allowed to leave the start platform without his harness properly attached and without his leg straps secured."

"Somebody didn't do their job," said Capriati. "It is our belief that an error like this, a failure like this, doesn't happen without inadequate training."

The suit also says Urban Air was negligent because there was no safety netting or padding under the zip line.

"We allege in the complaint there was a design error," said Capriati. "There could have been more done in terms of the implementation of safety measures that could have at least reduced the risk."

Urban Air Adventure Park released a statement saying:

"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 employee in question is 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."

Capriati says he hopes his client's story results in tighter regulations for parks and attractions.

"These are facilities that are attractive, fun for kids to go to, and growing in popularity," he said. "There needs to be more measures. There needs to be stricter requirements."

The state's Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection, under the Department of Agriculture, is investigating the fall.