While the greater economy stagnated in the mid to late aughts, one industry saw continuous and jaw-dropping growth. It seems like the sky is the limit for the booming trampoline park business, as it continues to draw frolicking little ones and thrill-seeking adults alike. Get Air Sports, an original on the industry scene, “increased 66 percent from one month to the second… [later] putting parks in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Idaho, Arizona and Washington [in a six-month span],” according to Val Iverson, owner of Get Air Sports and Trampoline Parks, LLC. With a majority of booming industries almost systematically rooted in tech – AI technology, biometric scanning, drones, virtual reality, fraud detection software – it might be said that the booming trampoline business harks back to the value of simple, physical (ergo timeless) recreation.
However, unlike some of its supremely low-risk, low-impact recreational contemporaries (How dangerous is Candy Crush? Or taking a forest stroll in VR, unless you do it on a highway?) trampoline parks have quickly generated concern for their high injury turnover, given a lack of restraint or control they can exert over patrons – an essential facet of a trampoline park, after all. Unlike the well-regulated, harnessed affairs of zip lining or bungee jumping, patrons of trampoline parks are limited only by their own physical aptitude and given free reign to undertake any feat. Just add a regular dose of unavoidable human error, and you have the magic recipe for an explosion of injuries and ER visits.
Trampoline parks owners know the safety of patrons is in their hands. Many kinds of businesses are legally responsible for the safety of patrons, but few must ensure the safety of an everyday, unskilled, untrained person executing what amounts to high-risk stunts. If you’ve visited a Get Air park, you’ve seen some of the insane feats and flips carried out on the jump floor. For a highly launched backflip, one miscalculation could mean certain death; the flipper operates by the graces of amateur skill and dumb luck. Naturally, things could go south, and quickly, especially if a park slips up in enforcing the handful of safety measures that currently exist.
Emergency room visits for trampoline park injuries ballooned from 581 in 2010 to nearly 7,000 in 2014 – with injuries ranging from broken bones and open fractures to spinal chord injuries. In Utah, a BYU freshman was left paralyzed from the neck down after a trampoline park mishap. Serious injuries at trampoline parks are not exclusive to the states either. The DailyMail reported on a rash of personal injury cases arising at trampoline parks in England, including an ‘exploded vertebrae‘ and more than one shattered spine. Emergency medicine physician Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt told NPR, “I don’t think parents realize how significant the injuries can be or how frequently they occur.” With injuries on the rise, one would expect legislators to keep regulations in pace with them. Measures like designated “toddler time” help alleviate the problem of collisions between little ones and adults. A standard code to ensure all equipment is regularly checked, properly inflated, installed etc is an evident provision. Instituting regulations and codes is only half the battle, with the other half being enforcement. Negligence might still give way to injuries on the jump floor, which parents ought to be equally cognizant of.
If you or a loved one has incurred an injury at a trampoline park, negligence may have been the cause and you may be entitled to compensation. Contact skilled personal injury attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian for a consultation of your case.
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