Caselaw can be complicated. An example of this is waivers. Sometimes they are enforceable, sometimes they are not. And a waiver that might be valid against an adult, may not be valid if it’s a parent acting on behalf of a minor. If you live in Pennsylvania and your child was injured at a trampoline park, we might be able to assist. Pennsylvania courts have held in the past that the waivers which parents sign on behalf of their child, typically waiving a lawsuit or attempting to hold someone liable, are invalid.
You are likely on this page because you or you child was injured at a trampoline park in PA. Thinking about your child’s health and future is traumatic when a serious injury happens. You are curious as to whether or not there is anything you can do about it.
Pennsylvania law, like many other states, is not cut and dry, (most law isn’t), but some cases exist where courts have struck down waivers similar to the one you signed on behalf of your child.
What does this mean?
It means that the waiver you signed may not be valid after all. It means that your child may be entitled to compensation if there was negligence by the trampoline park.
We can’t guarantee you results or that the waiver is definitely invalid. Any real attorney will be honest with you, not mislead you by making promises that cannot be kept. If you do not have a case, we will tell you that you do not have a case. Call us now, talk to a real attorney, and let us investigate whether you may have a case against the trampoline park.
Or, you can keep reading and learn about the reality of waiver law in Pennsylvania.
A waiver by definition is: a document recording the waiving of a right or claim. A waiver in the reality of your situation likely is: the document displayed on the electronic tablet on or near the counter of the trampoline park your family went to. You scrolled through and scribbled your initials on with your finger. Did you know that the drafters of the waiver realize the significance of the document so much that they actually state that you can contact an attorney prior to signing it? Generally, anytime someone asks if you want to contact an attorney, a serious matter is at hand. We have yet to meet a family who contacted their attorney prior to signing the waiver at the trampoline park counter.
Most parents don’t think much about the waiver until an injury occurs. Generally speaking, most waivers contain what is called an “exculpatory clause.” This is a clause in the contract in which the parent has just agreed to “relieve the trampoline park, and its agents or employees, from ALL liability.”
Really, all liability??
Yes. Well, at least that’s what the trampoline parks want you to think. Waiving gross negligence or intentional acts is rarely allowed. However, typical negligence can be waived at certain times, as long as proper language is used, and the contracts are valid. The fine line that sometimes separates the two is best walked by an experienced attorney.
How will I know if I can bring a lawsuit against the trampoline park?
That’s the million-dollar question! The shortest answer we can provide is, give us a call! We will let you know whether we think you have a possible claim, and even if we don’t, we will still talk to you and explain why we think that way.
The nuances of Pennsylvania waiver law are as follows. Generally speaking, waivers will be upheld against adults, as long as they signed of their own free will. However, with any area of law, there are exceptions. The case of Nicholson v. Mount Airy Lodge held that the defendant was liable for gross negligence even though a waiver was signed after plaintiff’s roller skate malfunctioned and caused him to suffer severe injuries, his lawsuit could come forward. The defendant roller rink could not waive gross negligence, and the Plaintiff had a valid lawsuit.
More recently, a Pennsylvania court held that a wife could not sign a valid waiver on behalf of her husband, who was subsequently injured at Sky Zone in Glen Mills. The Pennsylvania appellate court held that just because the man’s wife signed his name on the agreement, that agreement is not legally enforceable. https://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/11/injured_man_can_sue_trampoline.html
Does this mean the waiver I signed for my child is invalid?
Maybe. As previously mentioned, Pennsylvania has held that exculpatory agreements (waivers) are not enforceable if signed by the parent on behalf of the child. No case is guaranteed, but that’s why it’s important to contact an attorney to find out.
If your child was injured at a trampoline park in Pennsylvania, whether Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, or anywhere in between, and there may have been negligence on part of the trampoline park, please call an attorney to discuss the situation as soon as possible.
Trampoline Park Injuries in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Other Parts of PA
Trampolines are dangerous. Most pediatric orthopedic surgeons believe that children should never step foot in a trampoline park! The medical journal “Pediatrics,” published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, has advised against recreational trampoline park use.
In an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dr. Ray Pitetti, associate chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, stated that “I’ve seen a number of kids who have been pretty seriously injured from trampoline parks.” In the same article, an emergency department doctor specializing in orthopedics, Dr. Kathryn Kasmire, said, “We were seeing a lot of injuries from kids coming from the trampoline park. We were concerned with how serious some of the injuries were.”
One mother who visited SkyZone in Philadelphia stated that “The staff needs more training, plus they were extremely rude and unprofessional when speaking to me. I really wanted to like this place, I really do, but I can’t anymore. Management please train your staff more, until then, I will tell everybody I know to avoid this place.”
Another father who visited Get Air Trampoline Park in King of Prussia stated that: “We’ve been here a bunch of times and the kids working there are terrible. They are usually disinterested in being there.”
A mother who attended Altitude Trampoline Parks stated: “The workers were more interested in playing around with each other than monitoring the kids. They had their phones while on the trampolines, this should not be allowed. Very unsafe will not return.”
While these are only a few reviews from real parents, there are thousands more. From sprained ankles to broken necks and backs, the possibility of severe injures is real. Even with safety precautions in place, it is up to the trampoline park to enforce the rules, enforce proper training and supervision, etc. http://www2.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthy_kids/Are-trampoline-parks-causing-more-injuries-for-kids.html
This list below is not meant to be a complete list of trampoline parks in PA, nor is it meant to single out trampoline parks that have been sued in the Philadelphia area. Just being on the list below does not mean the facility was subject to a lawsuit against a trampoline park. It is merely meant to encourage parents like yourselves to read the reviews online, and see first-hand experience of other parents’ experiences.
- Launch Trampoline Park in Depford Township
- Sky Zone in Philadelphia
- Altitude Trampoline Park in Feastersville
- Rebounderz Trampoline Park in Lansdale
- Get Air Trampoline Park in King of Prussia
- Sky Zone in Oaks
- Get Air Trampoline Park in Pittsburgh
- Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville
- Altimate Air Park in North Versailles