There is no discrepancy that trampoline parks are dangerous. Ask any pediatric orthopedic surgeon if they recommend them for children. The answer is always “no.” Especially for children under 7 years old. A simple internet search for “trampoline park injuries” is sure to reveal the amount of catastrophic injuries in children and adults around the world from these parks. Some reports of over 100,000 emergency room visits related to trampoline park injuries per year.
So why isn’t anything being done?
That’s a great question, one we’ve been begging for years. Recently, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are catching on to the skyrocketing number of injuries in this mostly unregulated industry. Since 2012 alone, there have been 6 reported fatalities in parks around the country. That is not to take away from the thousands of broken bones, strains, sprains, concussions, etc. Recently, a CBS morning report (see link below) reported that during CBS News’ host Meg Oliver’s visit to a park in the Chicago area, she witnessed a serious injury. Meg Oliver took a trampoline park expert, Don McPherson, who stated “I got slammed by attorneys all over the country” to opine on the safety and reasonableness of these parks.
It wasn’t until recently that Senator Richard Blumenthal sponsored legislation that would start to hold businesses accountable for injuries. As you know from our website, a lot of states (if not all) require waivers to be signed by any participant, especially a parent signing on behalf of a minor. The validity of these waivers aside, the average person believes they have no recourse against a trampoline park if they are negligent. Most of these waivers have mandatory arbitration clauses in them, preventing injured patrons from pursing justice in a court of law. Sen. Blumenthal is sponsoring the “Fair Act” which would eliminate the mandatory arbitration clauses.
Sen. Blumenthal stated that “Trampoline parks want to avoid justice . . . they want to rig the system against anyone who is injured who may assert claims against them.”
We could not agree more. It’s time for federal oversight, regulation, and accountability. For the most part, there are only “voluntary safety standards” in place for these parks, which, judging by the staggering number of reported injuries, are simply not enough.
Until there is proper regulation in place, there is really no way to tell how many actually deaths and injuries take place inside these parks every day, month, or year.