PITTSBURGH—A safety committee had concerns about the Pittsburgh Zoo exhibit were a 2-year-old boy was mauled to death last year by wild African dogs, according to court papers filed in a civil lawsuit.

Maddox Derkosh fell from an open viewing area into the exhibit, and the attorneys representing his parents say the zoo safety committee expressed concerns as early as 2006. For example, the lawsuit says minutes from a May 2007 meeting noted that "guests are dangling children over the rail at the wild dog exhibit."

Zoo spokeswoman Tracy Gray says they have a very active safety committee, and the exhibit continuously exceeded the safety requirements set by national oversight groups.

The boy's parents have sued, but the zoo says the mother was negligent at the exhibit.