Mall of America settles lawsuit over boy thrown from balcony

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis said Monday it would toughen its trespassing policies as part of a settlement with the family of a boy who was seriously injured when a man with a history of disorders at the mall threw the child from the balcony of the third floor.

Additional details of the settlement have not been released by the boy’s family or the mall.

The boy, identified only as Landen, was 5 when Emmanuel Aranda threw him nearly 40ft (12.2 meters) on the ground. Aranda, who had been banned from the mall in Bloomington, Minnesota, twice in previous years, told investigators that when she went there she was “looking for someone to kill” after women had rejected his advances. He pleaded guilty to attempted first degree murder and was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the attack on Landen.

The alleged family in a lawsuit filed last year that mall security should have stopped Aranda from “prowling” the building without an officer following him closely. The lawsuit alleged that the mall and its security services were aware of prior “violent, aggressive and erratic” behavior that Aranda displayed at the mall.

In a joint statement announcing the settlement, the mall and the family said they would work together on policy changes to avoid similar incidents.

“Mall of America and the family have agreed to work together with a focus on safety, and are already jointly pursuing policy changes to existing trespass limits for violent criminals to provide greater ability to exclude such individuals. of their premises,” the statement said. .

The lawsuit sought unspecified damages. At the time he was filed, a family attorney said the boy had already incurred more than $1.7 million in medical bills. Landen’s parents said on their GoFundMe page in 2019 that Landen had undergone more than 15 medical procedures, including surgeries for two broken arms and a broken leg, facial and skull fractures and the removal of his spleen.

“The boy’s recovery has been nothing short of miraculous and the focus remains on his health and well-being, which includes privacy during this time,” the Monday statement added. “The mall and the family will request that any resulting changes be named in honor of the young boy.”

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Trisha Ahmed is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues. Am here on Twitter.

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