Trampoline Park Injuries

Injuries at Sky Zone, Urban Air, Launch, and Other Trampoline Parks

A new family friendly activity has been taking the nation by storm. Instead of purchasing their own personal trampolines for their backyards, more and more families have been choosing to jump on down to a trampoline park. 

If you have a young child or teenager, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve heard of Sky Zone trampoline parks. There are over 200 different Sky Zone trampoline parks located across the United States and in other countries. Typically, these trampoline parks are set-up to have wall-to-wall trampolines throughout their facilities. 

This is a great form of exercise and fun for all ages, but the unfortunate truth is that we’re seeing more serious injuries as a result of trampoline-related incidents.

A recent meta-analysis found that injuries to children are usually more severe when they occur at a trampoline park as opposed to injuries that occur on a trampoline at a child’s home. Although the likelihood of injury is higher if you’re using a trampoline at home, ER visits requiring surgery were nearly twice as likely to occur as a result of injuries sustained at a trampoline park rather than jumping on a trampoline at home. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that in 2014, there were 104,691 emergency department visits involving trampolines in the US.

Trampoline Parks and Exculpatory Clauses

In an effort to minimize trampoline parks’ liability for injuries suffered by customers at the parks (if not get rid of their liability altogether), many of these trampoline parks require patrons to sign contracts with an exculpatory clause. Signing a multi-page document with an exculpatory clause buried somewhere in the middle of the paperwork is often a prerequisite to entering the park. Basically, an exculpatory clause is a waiver of liability. The purpose of the exculpatory clause is to get customers to waive their right to collect any money from the trampoline park as a result of injuries sustained at the park, including in some instances even if the injury was caused by the park’s own negligence.

In Florida, regrettably, exculpatory clauses are often upheld by courts when an adult is the person who was injured. In other words, if an adult signs an exculpatory clause before entering a trampoline park, that adult is likely waiving her right to maintain a lawsuit against the trampoline park if she is injured at the park (even if the injury was the result of the park’s negligence).

As a result of the state of the law regarding exculpatory clauses in Florida, our office generally does not accept cases where an adult was injured while jumping on a trampoline at a trampoline park.

On the other hand, Florida law limits the use of exculpatory clauses to shield commercial entities (such as trampoline parks) from liability when minors - persons under 18 years of age - are the ones who are injured. That means that, in some instances, if a child is injured at a trampoline park, the child may still have a right to maintain a lawsuit against the park to recover damages for the child’s injuries sustained at the park.

Fla. Stat. § 744.301 has specific limitations for waivers of liability for minors. The statute allows a natural guardian (such as a parent) to waive their child’s right to recovery for personal injuries that were sustained when the injury resulted from an “inherent risk” in the activity. The statute defines “inherent risk” as dangerous conditions “which are characteristic of, intrinsic to, or an integral part of the activity and which are not eliminated even if the activity provider acts with due care in a reasonably prudent manner.”

Importantly, this law likely does not allow a parent to release a commercial entity from liability for its own negligence. In other words, if the trampoline park was negligent and your child was injured as a result of the park’s negligence, you likely can still bring a lawsuit against the park for your child’s injuries even if you signed an exculpatory clause

Some examples of potential negligence at trampoline parks could include:

  • Park employees failing to adequately supervise persons jumping on trampolines.
  • Park employees failing to ensure that persons using the trampolines are doing so in a safe manner.
  • Allowing very young children – especially any child under 6 years of age – to jump on trampolines. Trampolines are extremely dangerous for very young children whose bones are still developing and are not yet strong enough for jumping on a trampoline. 
  • Allowing very young children to jump on trampolines with older and bigger children. This is especially dangerous because the older, bigger children who can easily fall on the younger children and cause serious injuries.
  • Allowing too many people to jump on the same trampoline at one time.
  • Failing to have adequate security at the trampoline park. Due to negligent security at these trampoline parks, children are often the victims of brutal assaults and other violent activity. For example, there are multiple incidents in Broward County alone involving fights breaking out between patrons. This is, of course, not isolated to Broward County

These are just a few examples of negligence we have seen at trampoline parks which resulted in serious injuries to children. 

If your child was injured at a trampoline park anywhere in Florida, call our office today for a free consultation. 

Arbitration Clauses

In addition to mandating that you sign an exculpatory clause, many trampoline parks also require you to sign an arbitration agreement before entering the park. This is another thing that is buried in a multi-page document (that most people don’t even read) that the park forces you to sign in order to gain entry to the park. The parks try to use these arbitration agreements to avoid having to fight a case in court. Arbitration allows the park to have a case removed from the regular civil court. If a case is successfully removed to arbitration, rather than having the case tried before a judge and jury, the case is instead decided by an arbitrator (or a small panel of arbitrators). 

Our office tries to fight these arbitration agreements as much as possible. Although every case is different, unfortunately, many judges in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach courts choose to enforce arbitration clauses (such as those signed at trampoline parks like Sky Zone) so long as a child’s parent is the person who signed the arbitration agreement. But if the arbitration agreement was signed by a person other than the child’s parent, then there is a much better chance of keeping the case in civil court and out of arbitration.

Efforts to Improve Trampoline Safety

There are already efforts being made to address, and hopefully reduce, the excessive injuries occurring at these trampoline parks. For example, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission has been having meetings to address this very issue of trampoline park safety. In their meeting on June 21st, 2022, the participants asked that CPSC take the following actions: 

  • Ban children age 6 and under from trampoline parks, or limit their participation; 
  • Prohibit somersaults and flips; 
  • Ban confidentiality agreements in injury settlements.

By ending confidentiality agreements, they hope to be able to gather more data about injuries that occurred at trampoline parks. This may imply that the number of incidents at trampoline parks is higher than what is reported, because of the confidentiality often involved with these settlements.

If your child was injured at a trampoline park anywhere in Florida, it is important to find a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who is familiar with the complex set of laws that apply in these types of cases. Our founding attorney Dan Cytryn is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with more than 43 years of experience handling complex personal injury cases in Florida.

Our Coral Springs trampoline lawyers are ready to help you seek the justice you deserve for your injuries. Contact our firm now at (954) 833-1440 for your free consultation.

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