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Mass. Family Sues Following Boy's Escalator Death

This article is more than 11 years old.

The family of a 4-year-old Massachusetts boy who died after falling from a mall escalator has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Mark DiBona of Dudley died March 12 after falling from a second-floor escalator in a Sears store at the Auburn Mall. Authorities have said he fell after slipping through a gap between the escalator and a barrier.

The suit filed Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court names Sears, mall owner Simon Property Group Inc., the escalator's manufacturer and a construction company as defendants.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

The family's attorney, Tom Smith, says the accident could have been prevented. The boy fell through a hole that was six inches wide.

"And the building code requires that a four-inch-diameter ball not be able to go through a gap of this type," Smith said.

Following Mark's death, two state inspectors were fired for failing to detect the gap that was wider than permitted.

A voice message left with Sears on Thursday morning was not immediately returned. A Simon Property group spokesman said he had no comment.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on June 9, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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