Parents sue after young son falls from 24-foot climbing wall at Navy Pier in Chicago

Two parents are suing after their son fell 24 feet from a climbing wall at Chicago’s Navy Pier in July and suffered serious injuries.

George Brewer was playing on the climbing wall on 27 July when he fell, breaking his pelvis, chin, shin and teeth, injuring his femer, and suffering a concussion. Mr Brewer has undergone four surgeries since then and may need to undergo more in the future. He’s walking with a walker after being confined to a wheelchair in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

Now, Mr Brewer’s parents are suing the tourist spot in Cook County Circuit Court — claiming that while the safety attendant at the climbing wall put a harness on her son but did not attach the required safety rope. That meant that after Mr Brewer ascended to the top of the wall, things took a turn for the worse.

“He let go to repel, and after that, he just plummeted,” Mr Brewer’s mother Erin said in comments picked up byThe Daily Mail.

Mr Brewer’s father Gideon said that he initially believed their son was dead. They are now seeking more than $50,000 in damages as well as payment for Mr Brewer’s substantial medical costs — alleging in their suit that not only was the safety rope missing, but that the lack of any netting or foam on the ground to cushion a potential fall meant that Mr Brewer fell directly onto the concrete.

“Part of the reason we are filing this lawsuit is to warn other parents who take their children to Navy Pier to beware,” Gideon Brewer said. “Safety and concern for children are clearly not their priorities.”

George Brewer (LEVIN & PERCONTI)
George Brewer (LEVIN & PERCONTI)

Navy Park Pier Attractions is the company in charge of operating and supervising the climbing wall. The Brewers told the newspaper that no one from Navy Pier contacted them after Mr Brewer’s fall. A Navy Pier spokesperson told the Mail and other news outlets that the company does not comment on active litigation.

“Whether it was carelessness, a lack of training, supervision, proper safety equipment or just not caring about the children climbing the wall, Navy Pier failed George and his family miserably every step of the way,” Steve Levin, an attorney whose firm is representing the family, said. “If Navy Pier cannot operate the climbing wall and other attractions safely, they need to shut them down.”

The two employees who were working at the climbing wall at the time of the accident and the sports televison network Spectrum Sports are also defendants in the suit.