Last year, Atlanta got its first indoor trampoline arena. Trampoline parks are a growing industry and they have popped up in cities all over the country in recent years. However, the safety of these parks is being called into question as numerous lawsuits have been filed in the aftermath of patrons suffering severe injuries on the trampolines.
One park in Washington state has already fielded 18 negligence claims and at least eight more will soon be filed. One of those cases stems from a now 17-year-old boy who sustained a paralyzing injury on a trampoline.
Many have argued that these parked are inherently dangerous for a number of reasons, having to do with negligent supervision, design and maintenance. Trampoline park business owners, however, say that jumping on a trampoline leads to fewer injuries than many other sports.
One trampoline park owner said that his injury rate is about 2 per 1,000 visitors, according to CNN.
In 2010, there were 92,159 emergency room visits due to trampoline-related injuries. However, it is not clear how many of these injuries happened in trampoline parks and how many took place on home trampolines.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons have issued advisories about the dangers of trampoline use.
In the incident that left the teenage boy paralyzed, he hit his head on the frame of the trampoline while trying to jump into a foam pit. His mother has filed a lawsuit stating that the metal bars and pipes near where her son was jumping were not properly covered and padded. Additionally, there was a lack of adequate supervision and safeguards, according to the complaint.
How these premises liability lawsuits will affect the trampoline industry remains to be seen. It is important for those who have been injured in trampoline parks to hold the business responsible, not only to receive compensation for injuries, but to help ensure that something will be done to minimize the dangers at these parks.
Source: CNN, “Lawsuits ignite debate over trampoline park safety,” Emanuella Grinberg, July 27, 2012
- Our Atlanta law firm handles cases like those mentioned above. To learn more about our firm, please visit our premises liability page.