AUBURN (CBS) — The family of the little boy who died when he fell from an escalator at a Sears store in the Auburn Mall says they have been overwhelmed by expressions of sympathy.

Michael Flaherty, the attorney for the DiBona family, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the family would like to “express their heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming expressions of sympathy regarding the tragic loss of their son.”

4-year-old Mark DiBona slipped off the escalator and fell two stories. Two inspectors were later suspended for failing to notice a gap near the top of the escalator that is larger than allowed by state code. The boy reportedly slipped through that gap and fell.

Ron Hanson, the senior vice president of Simon Property Group, New England, the group that owns the Auburn Mall, issued a statement Tuesday saying, “We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that took place at Auburn Mall, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. We are, of course, fully cooperating with The Department of Public Safety.”

There are 975 escalators in the state of Massachusetts, and they are inspected each year. The two inspectors involved have looked at about 25 in the past year, and they will all be re-inspected.

Comments (21)
  1. Brian says:

    This is what Republicans want, lax safety regulations in order to make the typical person/family’s life more difficult.

    1. Dave says:

      To the clown Brian who replied on march 15th, what do Republicans have to do with this? I’m ready to debate liberal boy. I work with these state inspectors. It all comes back to Bush right?

  2. Hal says:

    Why does the family need an attorney to issue a statement?

  3. xoajsmamaox says:

    Would you want to speak to anyone if you lost a child?

    1. Hal says:

      Well, the family spoke to an attorney. I’d say that was someone, right?

  4. Rob says:

    I am also curious as to why the family needed an attorney to issue a statement. Sorry, but as of late most, if not all, types of these horrible accidents end up with some kind of lawsuit, regardless of who was at fault (and I am by no means implying the family in this case).

  5. xoajsmamaox says:

    Ok, ill rephrase, would you want to speak to the media if you just lost a child.

    1. Hal says:

      I’ll rephrase mine then too. The family spoke to the media through THEIR ATTORNEY. If the family did not want to speak to the media or anyone, then why did they hire an attorney to do it FOR THEM? The family did not have to speak to anyone, but they chose to have someone do it for them, so yes, they spoke to the media indirectly.

      1. Larry says:

        Please just stop posting.

  6. xoajsmamaox says:

    Im just not even going to address this anymore. Clearly, you are lacking the ability to understand what I am saying.

  7. Hal says:

    Oh I get it allright. The family doesn’t want to speak to the media but they have no problem speaking to and through, an attorney. Gee, I wonder why?

  8. Meme says:

    Is there any compassion in this country anymore?

  9. John says:

    Of course there is. I just think that when people hear that an attorney is involved it could only mean one thing. Because we have seen it way too often nowadays.

  10. xoajsmamaox says:

    and so what if they do sue?

  11. Hal says:

    Then they will be just like the rest who got blood money. No amount of money can change what happened. No amount of money can bring peace or comfort to the family. Money is not and never will be the cure for pain, especially when it was an accident. To profit off of a death is inexcusable.

  12. xoajsmamaox says:

    Ok so if I was wasted and smashed into your car and killed your child would you sue me? Or of my dog attacked and killed your child? How about if I was shooting my registered gun, and a stray bullet got away? No, of course it wont bring him back. But maybe it will put his siblings though college. That is all IF they sue.

  13. Kathy says:

    You are all missing to whole point here. This 4 year old child died as a result of negligence on the inspectors behalf. Their right to an Attorney is justified here. If they chose to have an attorney, and speak through one then THAT’S THEIR CHOICE !!!! NOT yours, mine, or ours !!!! In most cases where the option of a law suit is there, most intelligent people would seek the advice of someone knowledgeable in the field of law AND most can’t get information they are seeking without one whether suing or not !!! Let this family deal with it the way they chose

  14. xoajsmamaox says:

    THANK YOU KATHY! All of this bashing is ridiculous. The point is that a four year old is dead. End of story.

  15. Hal says:

    If, and that’s a big if, the sole reason for the 4 year olds death was caused by negligence, then the only thing the parents should be seeking is justice and to have these problems adressed so that it never happens again. When did an accident no longer become just an accident? Why does everyone seek out a payment?

  16. Hal says:

    xoajsmamaox, no I wouldn’t sue. You know why? Because an intelligent person knows that money cannot bring back or change what has happened, ever. It should be about justice. What does a payout bring you? Zero comfort, zero peace, zero closure.

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