For some parents, a trampoline park can seem like the answer to the midsummer doldrums, allowing children to wear themselves out jumping and diving into foam pits. Slick gyms must be safer than sun-bleached, backyard trampolines… right? Not necessarily. In fact, they pose increased risks for certain injuries.
Recent studies show trampoline park injuries requiring hospital visits rose from 581 in 2010 to almost 7,000 in 2014. The upward trend doesn’t appear to be slowing. Certain injuries are more likely, particularly sprains, fractures, and dislocations. CBS News reported a 4-year-old sustained a broken femur. Other incidents caused life-changing head and spinal injuries.
It’s simple math: more parks = more people on trampolines = more injuries. Therein lies part of the problem. With so many people jumping, chances of collision are high. Just as dangerous is the “double-bounce”, forcing the surface of the trampoline to snap upward in a wave with enough energy to break bones. Additionally, many trampoline parks provide only thin padding around the trampolines or place them directly against walls.
With such high risks, how are parks not facing repercussions? Like all gyms, trampoline parks require users to sign a liability waiver, releasing them from responsibility for injuries. Some victims assume this means they have no options, which is sometimes true. However, waivers aren’t get-out-of-liability-free cards.
In 2012, Arizona passed “Ty’s Law” to regulate trampoline parks after the death of young Ty Thomasson. The law requires parks to be registered, undergo annual insurance inspections, have liability coverage, and report emergencies to state authorities. Such regulation can eliminate problems like unsafe layouts and poor maintenance. Furthermore, parks in violation of the law can be held liable. If someone was injured at a trampoline park that was unregistered, uninspected, or failed to report injuries, the victim could file a personal injury claim. That park failed to uphold its obligation to protect the safety of its patrons.
What about cases at trampoline parks that adhere to Ty’s Law? There are still instances when the park can be liable, even if a customer signed a waiver. Gross negligence can invalidate a waiver, since it refers to situations that are obviously reckless or lacking in oversight. For instance, broken equipment could fall under gross negligence, along with failure to supervise areas that require employees at all times.
In short, don’t let a liability waiver keep you from consulting a lawyer if you or a loved one was injured. Bellah Perez’s personal injury attorneys can decipher a waiver’s legalese, inform you of your rights as a victim, and hold negligent parks accountable. Call us today: (602) 252-9937.
Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.