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What are the Legal Rights of Children Injured at Trampoline Parks, Bounce House Activity Centers, and Attraction / Theme Parks?

By  David Wolf, Attorney

103-1113tm-vector2-2933During the summer and other times of the year, children are welcomed visitors at trampoline parks, bounce house activity centers, attractions, and theme parks.  In fact, at these locations, the marketing efforts of the companies and corporations are commonly directed to children.  As such, if children are a major focus group of a company or business, then safety of those same children should be a priority as well.  Of course, with any physical activity, there is a risk of injury.
The question is whether the risk is appropriate for the children by age, size, and maturity.   Then, the question is what safety precautions should be put in place in an attempt to prevent injuries.  If a chid is injured while playing on a bounce house, trampoline, playground or some other attraction or recreational activity, there are also the following questions to address:
Were the personal injuries of the child foreseeable?
Were the personal injuries preventable?
It should be noted that a business, theme park, or attraction is not required to be an absolute guarantor of the safety of a child.  In other words, accidents or incidents can happen any time that a child leaves his or her home.  In fact, an accident or injury can take place in the home of the child even while under the watchful eye of good and caring parents.   In most states, the standard to review the conduct or supervision of a business, school, day care center, theme park, attraction, etc . . . is one of reasonableness and practicality.   For instance, slip and fall incidents at a grocery store could be avoided if there is an employee positioned every three feet in the entire store. While this would be a good safety measure, this is not practical.  A grocery store could not stay in business with this kind of staffing; however, a grocery store can patrol the aisles on a frequent basis and can clean up spills and otherwise rope off or cone off areas in a reasonable and timely manner.  When the store breaches this duty of care, then there may a case or claim to pursue against the grocery store.  As to the injuires that take place at a trampoline, bounce house, or other similar establishment, there are two major reasons why incidents take place:  1. Improper Maintenance; and 2. Improper Supervision.  Let’s say that there is a sharp spring exposed to the children jumping in a certain part of the facility.  The spring is rusted as well. The spring was in disrepair for about a week and the management knew about the problemenatic spring.  While the management knew about the issues with the spring, no action was taken to close off the area or repair the problem.   As one of the child was jumping in the area, he lacerated his hand on the sharp edge of the spring.  This case example seems to hit the four key elements to pursuing a personal injury case or claim on behalf of a child:
1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Theme Park and Attraction Injuries, Swimming and Water Park Injuiries, Playground Injuries, and other topics.  You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.