Can I Sue a Trampoline Park If I Signed a Waiver?
If your child was harmed at a trampoline park in Kentucky, you can make an injury claim even if you signed a waiver.
Over the last few years, the popularity of trampoline parks has skyrocketed. There were only three of these facilities in the United States a decade ago. But now, countless trampoline parks have sprung up all across the country. Within Kentucky particularly, parks like Altitude, Sky Zone, DEFY, and more have become public hotspots.
While these facilities can offer a fun activity for children and teens, lack of regulation and improper operation often put guests at risk of severe injury or death.
The law makes clear, owners and operators of premises, including trampoline facilities, must take proper care to avoid injury to guests.
If your child has been hurt at a trampoline park in Kentucky, contact our firm to get the compensation your child deserve.
Trampoline Park Safety Rules
Various safety standards apply to the design, operation, and maintenance of trampoline parks. Safety rules that could be applicable to a particular case, depending on the jurisdiction, include the following:
- Equipment and Facility Standards. Trampoline park structures, including frames, mats, and padding, must meet specific safety standards set by relevant authorities or industry organizations. Regular inspections and maintenance of equipment and facilities are required to ensure they remain in safe condition.
- Staff Training and Supervision. Trampoline parks must employ adequately trained staff members to supervise and assist participants. Staff members should be knowledgeable about trampoline safety guidelines, first aid, and emergency procedures.
- Participant Guidelines. Trampoline park operators must display clear and concise safety rules and guidelines in visible areas of the facility. Participants and their guardians (if minors) must be informed about and agree to follow these guidelines before using the trampolines.
Participant Restrictions.Age and size restrictions might apply to certain areas or activities within the trampoline park. Certain medical conditions or physical limitations might disqualify individuals from participating in certain activities.
- Waivers and Liability Notices. Participants or their legal guardians must sign liability waivers acknowledging the risks associated with trampoline activities.
Emergency Procedures.Trampoline parks should have clear procedures for handling injuries, medical emergencies, and evacuations. First aid kits and trained staff members should be readily available.
Capacity Limits.Trampoline parks must have limits on the number of participants allowed in certain areas to prevent overcrowding and ensure safety.
- Proper Use of Trampolines. Jumpers must be instructed to jump within their skill level and avoid attempting dangerous tricks they are not capable of performing safely.
- Prohibited Activities. Certain high-risk activities should be prohibited, such as double bouncing or attempting flips without proper training.
Safe Landing Areas.Trampoline parks should have designated safe landing areas, such as foam pits, to mitigate the impact of falls.
- Insurance Requirements. Trampoline park operators may be required to have liability insurance to cover potential injuries or accidents.
Some of these standards can be found in the ASTM F2970-13, "Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation, Operation, Maintenance, Inspection and Major Modification of Trampoline Courts" published in 2013 by the American society for testing and materials.
Several states have incorporated ASTM F2970-13 into law. This is important because, absent legislation, the safety standards set forth in ASTM F2970-13 are voluntary, and trampoline parks may choose whether to follow them. Once state legislature adopts the standards into state law, compliance become mandatory.
As of 2023, neither ASTM F2970-13 nor any other standards, have been incorporated into Kentucky law. Nonetheless, ASTM F2970-13 establishes minimum industry standards that could be applied to a given case to determine whether a park has behaved negligently.
Causes of Trampoline Parks Accidents
Trampoline attractions can be hazardous if the staff neglects to enforce the rules and maintain their equipment. Accidents may occur for several reasons, such as:
- Too many people are allowed on the trampoline at once, resulting in collisions.
- Guests are encouraged to jump unsafely, thereby hitting their heads on a hard surface.
- The staff does not supervise its guests.
- The trampoline is not assembled properly.
- The trampoline is missing protective devices.
Types of Injuries at Trampoline Parks
Trampoline park injuries in Kentucky and elsewhere have ranged from mild to severe and even fatal due to the varied levels of trampoline park safety. The most common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head injury
- Broken bone
- Spinal cord injury
- Scratches & cuts
- Rash or irritant skin
What if I Signed a Trampoline Park Waiver?
Trampoline parks typically require that a liability waiver be signed before using their facility. The intention is that the waiver protects the facility from any liability in the event of significant bodily harm, permanent disability, or death. In other words, according to waiver, the facility cannot be sued if a person or parent signs a disclaimer for themselves or their child and an accident occurs. For example, one prominent Kentucky trampoline park - Sky Zone - requires signature on a waiver that contains the following language:
While businesses may claim that these disclaimers will stand up in court, this isn't necessarily the case. Kentucky law strongly disfavors so-called pre-injury liability waivers. Critically, in Kentucky, parents do not have the legal authority to sign such pre-injury liability waivers on behalf of their children when a for-profit business is involved. (Miller v. House of Boom Kentucky, LLC).
In Kentucky, when a minor is injured at a trampoline park, the park can be held liable so long as negligence is proved. If you were harmed after signing a liability waiver, consult with a Kentucky attorney to get clarification about your rights.
Who is Liable for a Trampoline Accident?
Accident liability at a trampoline park is situational and dependent on the specifics of the incident. If the injury was caused by the wounded party infringing the park's rules, the injured party might be held liable. However, suppose the injured party was hurt due to dangerous park facilities, negligent maintenance, lack of supervision, or other causes unrelated to the injured person's activities. In that case, the trampoline park may be held liable. The three parties who are to be held liable are:
- The facility manufacturers of the trampoline parks
- Owner of the trampoline park
- The company designers and installers
What Evidence Do I Need to Help My Claim?
It would be best if you started building your trampoline park injury case after contacting a personal injury lawyer and establishing a liable party or parties. Have strong evidence that will help with your claim. Start by:
- Taking pictures of the facility and the area where the incident took place
- Recall the event by drafting it somewhere
- Get witness information and statements
- Collect every necessary medical document concerning the injuries
- Document your lost wages, medical expenses, and others
How Long to I Have to File an Injury Claim Against Trampoline Park?
In Kentucky, there is a one year statute of limitations for personal injuries. However, the one year limitation period does not begin to run until the plaintiff is an adult. In Kentucky, this means a child's injury claim does not begin to accrue until the child turns 18. Therefore, a child injured at a trampoline park may file suit at any time on or before his or her 19th birthday, regardless of whether a year has passed since the injury. This being said, it is important to get such claims started as soon as possible after an incident has occurred in order to preserve evidence that may be critical to the case.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney for Help
To get back the compensation that you deserve, reach out to a personal injury lawyer to help you review the details leading to your injuries and draft out the best course of action for your case.