Last month, a 15-year-old California boy was paralyzed from the chest down after a trampoline accident. JT Simpson attempted to do a double front flip, but landed on his neck and shattered a part of his vertebrae. He will probably not be able to walk again.
Simpson's family is liable for his injuries, but sometimes trampoline injury victims can hold another party liable for the injuries. A judge has ruled that the family of 9-year-old New Jersey native Alexander Defina can sue Sky Zone Trampoline Park for the broken leg Defina suffered in 2014 while playing dodgeball at the park.
Though Defina's parents had to waive certain rights against the company before Defina could participate in the game at the park, a judge ruled this month that the contract does not make clear that signing the agreement waives a person's right to sue. A previous court had ruled that the case had to be decided through arbitration, but the new ruling allows the family to continue their case in court.
Trampolines are a popular form of entertainment as at-home fun or at “bounce houses” where both adults and children can play. Between 2002 and 2011, more than 1 million people required emergency treatment for trampoline-related injuries. About 300,000 of those injuries involved broken bones. In 2010 alone, 92,000 people suffered serious injuries from trampoline use.
Trampoline injuries can be debilitating and permanent. These injuries usually occur when trampoline users:
- Land improperly
- Fall off the trampoline
- Collide with one another
It is important to take safety precautions when using an at-home trampoline, not only to reduce the incidence of injury but also to limit your liability for resulting injuries. If an injury occurs as the result of a defective trampoline, the injured person has a better chance of winning a case if they can prove that they were following safety measures at the time of the accident. For example, if a homeowner allows children to play on old, defective trampolines, the owner might be held liable for any resulting injuries. But if a child was injured on a defective at-home trampoline while following safety precautions, the child's family is eligible for compensation from the trampoline company.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends these safety tips to keep safe while using a trampoline:
- Do not allow more than one person on a trampoline at a time
- Do not try to do tricks, especially on small trampolines where a landing injury could result in paralysis
- Do not use a trampoline that has exposed springs, hooks, or frame
- Keep the trampoline away from other structures
- Do not let children under the age of 6 use the trampoline, and do not keep anything near the trampoline that would allow younger, small children to climb on
- Always supervise children using a trampoline
- Use a net or enclosure around larger trampolines to prevent injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a trampoline accident, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. You may have a limited amount of time to file your case. Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.