Though it can never be assumed you have a case, the Land of Lincoln has laws that make calling a lawyer about a trampoline park injury a must. The waiver that you may have signed is not automatically valid. Whether it’s us or another trampoline injury law firm, call a lawyer!
Your kid’s health and future is everything. We get it – we are parents too. Seeing parents not pursue compensation because they think they can’t is frustrating for us lawyers. Investigate!! Find out if there’s something you can do. Speaking with an attorney regarding whether or not you have a lawsuit against the trampoline park is critical – and time is of the essence!
Feel free to read more on our website about the laws governing waiver and the trampoline parks. Warning: it’s a little bit boring. The case law can be dense and difficult to read, as can the analysis of the case law. Feel free to short circuit it at any time and call us. We will not sugarcoat. If we don’t think you have a case, we will tell you – we don’t want to waste your time or ours.
But if we think you might have a case, we will tell you that too.
A waiver is a document that you often sign upon entering a trampoline or jump park by which you may forfeit some “right or claim.” They let you have all that fun of jumping and all you have to do is waive a claim if anything bad happens to you – even if it’s totally the facilities fault. It’s not uncommon for the waivers in this day and age to be digital, meaning you scroll through some pages on an iPad and scribble your initials, not knowing what you are signing. Most of the time your child is so excited to start jumping, there isn’t enough time to read before you sign the waiver. The waiver might even tell you to consult a lawyer before signing. LOLOL – who has ever consulted a lawyer while their kid is tugging on their sleeve to start jumping. No one. Probably ever.
While waivers can vary from business to business, the general theme is that by signing the waiver, you are forfeiting “any right” at “any point” in the future to bring a lawsuit against that business for their negligent acts or omissions. This includes the negligent act of a trampoline park employee or others that causes even a catastrophic injury of you or your child.
If you are signing on behalf of your child, your child didn’t get to make the decision. The waiver may not be valid. We think of our children of extensions of ourselves, but they have their own rights.
Is the waiver valid?
Maybe. How’s that for a lawyer answer? Sorry, but it’s a maybe. We have to know your facts to know for sure.
Illinois law generally allows for a waiver to be enforced against an adult. However, certain situations have arisen where the waiver has been found invalid, such as ambiguity, unequal bargaining power, or for public policy reasons. There are a few relevant cases that attempt to summarize the grey area of waivers and exculpatory contracts regarding adults in Illinois. Without the confusion of legalese, the following a brief summaries of where waiver law stands today in Illinois.
Oelze v. Score Sports Venture, allows for a business to enforce a waiver for basic negligence against an adult, even for dangerous activities. In Cizek v. North Wall, Inc., an Illinois court held that a woman who was injured by falling from an indoor rock climbing gym was barred from brining a basic negligence suit due to the waiver she signed. Essentially, because the plaintiff “agreed not to sue,” the court found that her lawsuit should be barred based on the law.
When is a waiver not valid?
Sometimes, in Illinois, a parent cannot execute a waiver on behalf of a minor child. As always, the case law and statutes on this are not black and white. Lawyers never make it easy. But waivers signed by a parent on behalf of a child have been struck down. Illinois has held that it is against public policy for a parent to waive a lawsuit on behalf of their child. When any child has a legitimate or even potential case against an entity, (trampoline park or otherwise), it is up to the court to decide what is best in the interest of the child in terms of the lawsuit.
The primary case of Meyer v. Naperville Manner, Inc., states that not only can a parent not sign a waiver after the child is injured, it also states that a “pre-injury” waiver signed by a parent on behalf of a child is also invalid. The Illinois court again stated that due to public policy reasons, and without a specific statute allowing the parent to waive the child’s lawsuit, these waivers will be continuously struck down.
What this means is that the waiver you likely signed on behalf of your child when you entered the trampoline park is potentially not valid. Of course, the trampoline park will never tell you this, so it’s your responsibility as a parent to seek advice from an attorney who is experienced in this area of law, not only to protect you, but also the future of your child’s health and well-being.
The bottom line? It is always worth a phone call to an attorney well-versed in trampoline park injuries for the benefit if your child’s future.
Trampoline Park Injuries in Illinois
Trampoline park injuries are often devastating and life-changing. Not always, but often, these end with thousands of dollars in medical bills, physical therapy, missed time from school, and missing out on other “normal” childhood activities.
Injuries arising from trampoline park negligence range from a seemingly basic ankle sprain, all the way to a catastrophic fracture rendering the victim paralyzed. A study release by the American Journal of Nursing reported that fractures were the most common reason children were being admitted to the hospital following a trampoline park injury.
In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons stated that some children, especially those under 6-7, should never jump on trampolines due growth plates still being formed, in addition to the higher risk or permanent and catastrophic injures. Among others, the following is a sample of common injures that take place in trampoline parks: sprains, bone fractures leading to permanent growth plate damage, dislocated joints, concussions, spinal injuries, and brain injuries.
The number of trampoline parks in Illinois, along with every state, is growing substantially. These business owners are operating in a largely unregulated field, and view the parks as a profitable source of income with little overhead once operational. The following is just a sampling of the reviews of some trampoline parks in Illinois. Of course, we are highlighting the lack of safety, precautions, and frequency of injuries, but these are real reviews, from real parents. See below:
Here are a sampling of parks throughout Illinois. Merely putting a park on this list does not necessarily mean it is unsafe, has been sued, should be the subject of a trampoline park lawsuit, or any other assumption. We merely publish examples of parks.
- Elevate Trampoline Park in Peoria, IL
- Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Orland Park, IL
- GAR South Trampoline Park in Cherry Valley, IL
- Altitude Trampoline Park in Bloomington, IL
Chicago Trampoline Parks
Just in the Chicagoland area there appear to be more than a dozen trampoline, jump, or similar amusement parks. This is remarkable, considering trampoline parks seem to be somewhat new to Chicago.
Unfortunately, business people seem to only see dollar signs when it comes to trampoline park businesses. Too many do what corporate America does – puts profits over people.