Lawsuit: safety policies only effective when enforced

On behalf of Mike Clancy

Trampolines are certainly not a new invention. Many adults have fond memories of feeling the freedom of sailing through the air atop one of these devices as a child. Capitalizing off of this fun experience, more and more trampoline parks are appearing across the country.

These establishments are not only gaining the benefit of a profit, but they are also accepting the burden of safety, taking on the responsibility to keep those that they invite onto the premises free of injuries caused by the facility’s negligence. This was a duty that wasn’t upheld by the owners of one trampoline park, said the mother of a child injured during a game of “trampoline dodgeball.”

For this mother, there were a few actions that rose to the level of negligence on the part of the facility. These issues were detailed in a premises liability complaint filed earlier this month.

The first issue was that the game itself, she said, was unreasonably dangerous. Despite the dangerous nature of the game, it was used in the marketing campaign as a way to attract minors to the facility.

The second issue involved the failure to enforce the policies that the facility already put in place to keep patrons safe. In this specific instance, a maneuver that increases the force of a jump, referred to as double bouncing, was specifically banned. This would be a great policy, but the only problem in this case was that it wasn’t enforced.

Finally, the equipment itself was insufficient. The child in this case not only broke his leg when it slammed into the inadequate padding, but he also tore a tendon in his knee.

Facilities in Chicago are also under this broader duty to ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for invitees. What constitutes a failure to uphold this duty? That often depends on a case-by-case determination, which is why injured patrons should consult with a personal injury attorney even when they are unsure if negligence was in play.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “A Most Dangerous Game: Trampoline Dodgeball,” Kevin Lessmiller, Feb. 10, 2014

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Lawsuit: safety policies only effective when enforced