A new trend in children's entertainment is the trampoline park. These businesses offer huge rooms made up of springy surfaces that allow visitors to bounce and leap into the air. One such trampoline park is Sky Zone in Las Vegas. While Sky Zone is successful, some parents and doctors worry that children could suffer injuries in falls. And injuries to visitors could mean personal injury lawsuits against Sky Zone and other trampoline parks.
The owner of Sky Zone says that his park is safe and provides a fun way for kids who are otherwise not active to get some exercise. He acknowledges that some injuries do occur, but at least one doctor says that jumping on trampolines is not safe for children. The physician, who practices at Sunrise Children's Hospital, noted that there were at least 100,000 trampoline injuries nationwide in 2009.
While any kind of fall off a trampoline can cause an injury, one of the most common ways to suffer a significant injury is by attempting flips. Sky Zone does not prohibit flips, though it does have some rules, such as encouraging younger children to come earlier in the day. The owner says he has thought about banning flips but says the problem is exaggerated.
If a person becomes injured while at a trampoline park, the legal question could be whether he or she assumed the risk of suffering that injury. Assumption of the risk is a legal principle that holds that an injured person willingly engaged in a dangerous activity while aware of the risks inherent to the activity. One of the easiest ways for assumption of the risk to apply is to have the visitor sign a release form absolving the business from liability for foreseeable injuries.
Source: KSNV-TV, "As trampoline popularity rises, safety risks also increase," Jessica Moore, Nov. 7, 2012