By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Over the past few years, there has been a growth in the number and presence of trampoline parks and indoor bounce house locations and facilities. While these recreation, sports, amusement park, and theme park attractions can be great ways to have fun and exercise, they are also the locations of unfortunate and preventable injuries to children. There are risks with any forms of physical activity and sports. There are also safety measures and rules that should be followed to reduce these risks. If children, parents, and facility supervisors follow and enforce the rules and safety measures, many personal injuries can be prevented.
When a child is a guest or visitor to a trampoline park or bounce house, there is a duty on the part of the trampoline park / bounce house operator and owner to provide a reasonably safe play environment for the children. The duty is one of the four elements necessary to prove up a case for personal injuries on behalf of the injured child. The four elements are as the following:
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
The trampoline park / bounce house operator breaches the duty when the facility is not properly maintained OR when there is a problem with supervision. The third element links the breach of duty to the damages or injuries sustained by the child. In other words, the breach of duty is the proximate cause of the personal injuries. One common problem with bounce houses and trampoline parks is the mixture of age groups for and sizes of children in one play area. For instance, let’s say a 6 year old is jumping on a trampoline square. While the 6 year old is jumping, two 15 year guests, who the 6 year old does not know, begin jumping on the same square and horsing around. One 15 year old does a back flip and lands on the 6 year old which, in turn, fractures the right leg of the 6 year old. The staff at the trampoline park / bounce house were on a break and there was no supervision in the area for 20 minutes. Under this fact scenario, there could be a civil case or claim pursued for the personal injuries sustained by the child. Keep in mind that each case or claim should be evaluated on its own facts and merits. Some cases are a big stronger than others. In some instances, there is no case or claim to pursue since the four elements cannot be established by the facts and evidence available.
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued some guidelines for the prevention of injuries to children using trampolines. One such recommendation was to have only 1 child on a trampoline at a time. Another recommendation advised against having a child doing back flips on a trampoline. When a third party or business is operating a business that houses trampolines or bounce houses, it is vital that the facility provide consistent and attentive supervision. An employee with his head buried in his mobile phone does not consistent attentive supervision even if the employee is just a few feet away from the play area.
When a child is injured and the four element of a case can be established, there can be compensation awarded or obtained for the personal injuries sustained by the child. The amount of compensation will depend on another factors including the amount of past medical bills, the need for future care and expense of the same, diagnostic studies, type of treatment rendered, the permanency of the injuries, and other factors. It is helpful for the parents of the injured child to contact a Child Personal Injury Atttorney for advice, guidance, consultation, and legal representation.
David Wolf is the author of over 3.500 articles that focus on child safety and injury issues. He is also the author of 7 books including the book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. This book has chapters on Playground Injuries, Amusement and Theme Park Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Sports Related Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.