You may recall our blog from July of 2019. We reported that a minor child had a very unfortunate fatal accident at a trampoline park in North Carolina. If you missed that post, please click here.
As trampoline parks have surged in popularity over the last decade, so has the likelihood of sustaining a serious injury at one of these facilities. Tragically, it is usually children who become victim to the understaffing, dangerous equipment, and lack of safety standards at trampoline parks, which remain unregulated in many states yet market themselves as an ideal venue for birthday parties and other events.
The family of 12-year-old Matthew Lu know this devastating reality all too well. He died last summer after a fatal fall inside a Gastonia, North Carolina trampoline facility while celebrating his birthday with friends. Earlier this month, his mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the trampoline park, Altitude Gastonia, and its parent company, ATP Alpha. Also named in the lawsuit is Ropes Courses, Inc., the designer of the climbing wall where Matthew plummeted over 20 feet to the concrete floor below and suffered a lethal head trauma.
As stated in the filing with the Gaston County Superior Court, employees at Altitude Gastonia failed to properly secure Matthew into his safety harness before he scaled the climbing wall. The suit also alleges that the climbing area where Matthew fell was not adequately supervised, and that his death could have been prevented had the facility installed padding over the concrete floor.
Matthew’s mother Jiawei Wu is represented by Brad Collins of Roberts Law Firm of Gastonia. They are seeking punitive damages as well as compensation for the mental anguish Matthew’s family has endured since his death. According to the lawsuit, “plaintiff Jiawei Wu has suffered severe emotional distress as a result of watching her son’s fall and his subsequent death including chronic anxiety and depression and other psychiatric conditions.”