Childhood Injuries in Florida Trampoline Parks
School is out soon and parents will start looking for fun ideas to keep the children happy and out of trouble. The prevalence of trampoline parks in recent years seem to offer a safe and fun source of physical activity. These facilities consist of numerous large trampolines in an indoor setting. However, medical experts are issuing serious warnings about the safety of these trampoline parks and inadequate supervision of usage. According to a recent report by WKMG Local 6, the risk of injury is high inside of Florida trampoline parks. Dr. Tamara Topoleski, a pediatric orthopedist in central Florida, was included in the article. She reports that sprains and broken wrists are common accidents from trampolines, but more serious injuries are also possible.
Trampoline parks became popular in the last five to ten years. Safety experts compare them to the increase in backyard trampolines that occurred during the 1990s. This period of time saw the number of trampoline-related injuries triple among children, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These numbers sparked a strict reaction from the homeowners insurance industry, with many insurance companies banning backyard trampolines from coverage or excluding trampoline injuries from homeowner’s insurance reimbursement.
Though the American Academy of Pediatrics does not advise against all trampoline usage, the organization does strongly encourage adequate supervision during use. Dr. Topoleski was quoted in the article as saying, “I think there is a place for these businesses, in the training of athletes, gymnasts, divers perhaps but I think for recreational use it can really be dangerous if not properly supervised.” She went on to explain that most of her patient’s injuries result from simultaneous jumpers colliding into one another.
Regulation and Litigation
Trampoline park injuries raise valid questions about premises liability for these companies. Premises liability is the legal theory that property owners and possessors are liable for injuries occurring on their properties. Customers of the trampoline parks are considered invitees and the owners have a substantial legal duty to maintain a safe environment throughout their presence at the park. This includes a responsibility by trampoline park employees to periodically inspect the equipment for safety problems and repair any problems prior to customer usage.
There are limited standards in place to regulate trampoline parks. According to reports, they are not characterized as amusement parks because they lack moving parts. Therefore, there are minimal federal and state regulations, leaving safety guidelines to the local governments, which can create a vast amount of variation from one park to the next.
In an effort to shield themselves from liability concerns, most trampoline parks require signed liability disclosures before visitors are allowed to use the facilities. However, even in several situations where a disclosure was signed, there have been court liability awards for injured children and there are numerous lawsuits pending around the country. Though every case is different, the advice of an experienced lawyer is well worth the time.
If you or your child has suffered a trampoline related injury, contact the experienced lawyers at Pita & Del Prado, PA in Miami at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation. Our knowledgeable lawyers will aggressively work to secure the compensation to which you are entitled.