Zoo Hires Downtown Firm in Mauling Case

Article excerpt

Three lawyers at the Downtown firm Robb Leonard Mulvihill will represent the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in a wrongful death case brought by a Whitehall couple.

In a court filing, senior partner Dennis St. J. Mulvihill, managing partner Daniel L. Rivetti and associate attorney Jennifer L. Miller entered their names on behalf of the nonprofit zoo, where Maddox Derkosh, 2, was mauled to death on Nov. 4.

Attorneys for his parents, Elizabeth and Jason Derkosh, filed a civil lawsuit on May 23, alleging the zoo "blatantly ignored" a warning about the wild dog exhibit where Maddox fell and died.

The zoo has yet to respond in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. Zoo spokeswoman Tracy Gray said the organization does not comment on pending litigation, and its attorneys did not return calls from the Tribune-Review.

Independent legal observers said the zoo's insurance carrier probably selected the defense counsel.

"The insurance carrier really has the greatest financial stake in the matter," said Bruce Antkowiak, director of the criminology program at St. …