Parents of a boy injured earlier this year after falling off a climbing wall at the Weston (Fla.) YMCA are suing the organization, alleging that the injury was due to an employee’s failure to secure his harness, as well as the absence of safety mats.
Devin Pabian was celebrating his 11th birthday with a party at the YMCA and rock climbing with a group of friends. He had been harnessed in by a worker and scaled the 30-foot-tall wall. As he attempted to rappel down, he instead fell.
The lawsuit alleges the fall was caused by an improperly secured harness or rope, and that the staff member in charge of monitoring the climbers had left the area.
Pabian suffered fractures to his wrist, ankle and spine and had to be airlifted to a hospital for surgery.
"The miracle is he survived such a fall, the tragedy is it was preventable had the facility taken the necessary and reasonable safeguards to protect such young members and visitors they entice to such an attraction," says the family’s attorney, Jay Cohen.
The Pabian family is seeking more than $15,000 in damages. A YMCA spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit.