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Suit accuses mall of negligence in 2019 assault of young boy

By Peter Cox, Minnesota Public Radio News

The family of a child who was thrown over a railing at the Mall of America is suing the mall, accusing the mall of negligence.

The child, then five, was thrown over the third-floor balcony railing by a man on April 12, 2019. The man, Emmanuel Aranda, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for attempted first-degree murder.

But the family’s lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County District Court, says the man had been banned from the mall twice before for assaulting mall patrons, making threats and being combative. Aranda’s mother has said he’s long suffered from mental illness.

The suit says Aranda should not have been allowed into the mall on that day, or should have at least been followed by security.

“But the Mall failed to take either of these simple, necessary precautions, thereby breaching its duty to provide a safe environment to its guests,” the suit says.

The suit says a lapse in security led to the child being thrown over the railing and the child and his family “were forced to endure horrific, entirely unnecessary, injuries and suffering that will affect them the rest of their lives.”

The child suffered extensive — some permanent — injuries to his brain, face, limbs and organs because of the incident. The suit says medical treatment has exceeded $1.75 million dollars.

The suit does not specify how much the family is seeking in damages.

In a statement sent by a spokesperson, the Mall of America called the event tragic and said their focus since then has been focused on the boy and his family.

“Legal matters are not unexpected in a situation such as this. It is a process that we will continue to work through and hopefully find resolution for all parties,” the statement said, adding that the Mall of America company’s thoughts and best wishes are with the boy and his family.

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