If you live in New York, or were even visiting New York, and your child was injured at a trampoline park, you need answers. Whether it was Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, or anywhere in between, this page may help you. Generally speaking, New York laws regarding liability waivers have been somewhat protective of individuals in the past, but not every case is the same.
If your child was injured due to someone else’s negligence, we can help. If you are like most parents, you don’t have time to investigate the claim yourself, or don’t even care what the 4 elements of negligence are. We get it! Let us do the thinking for you. Here is a brief summary of a negligence claim. First, the trampoline park has a duty to you and your child. Second, they must have breached that duty in some way. This could be in the form of negligent supervision of their staff, negligent hiring, negligent maintenance of the facility, etc. Third, it must be established that the breach of the duty caused your child’s injuries. Last, there must be damages. In cases like this, damages will be in the form of medical bills and several other types.
A waiver is by definition “forfeiting or releasing some right” in the exchange for something else. In these circumstances, you have released the right of your child to file a lawsuit against the trampoline park for the experience of the trampoline park. Generally, you have the right to sue most people or businesses that act with negligence towards you. The waiver makes an attempt to preclude that lawsuit, but is sometimes unsuccessful.
We don’t need to remind you about the dirty iPad or tablet that you may have scribbled your initials on at the beginning of the trampoline park adventure. We will however, remind you of what exactly you signed. Most of the big-box trampoline parks try to muscle parents around by making them waive “all rights” of their child. This is true even if your child were to be catastrophically injured or paralyzed.
The waiver you signed may not be valid. That’s right, the muscle move by the trampoline park to attempt you to forfeit your child’s rights may not even be worth the paper it was printed on.
Does the waiver mean I can’t sue?
You CAN likely bring an action for your child’s damages.
The answer to this question is the entire reason for this page. The possibility of a lawsuit if your child was injured in a New York trampoline park is better than most states. In fact, New York has even passed a law regarding establishments, including places of public amusements (i.e. Trampoline Park) from waiving negligence liability. Sec. 5-326 of the New York General Obligations Law states, in a nutshell, that places of public amusement who attempt to waive negligence via waiver or other exculpatory clause, are deemed “void as public policy.” If you want to read more about it, click here https://newyork.public.law/laws/n.y._general_obligations_law_section_5-326
So what does this mean?
This means, that the waiver you scribbled your name on “could be” invalid and void for public policy reasons, allowing you to sue. We say “could be” because we never guarantee a lawsuit, we only guarantee thorough consultation, investigation, and diligence. If we don’t think you have a case, we will tell you. If we do think you have a case, we will tell you.
A variety of case law in New York has made the issue of negligence lawsuits even trickier. The common defense of “assumption of risk” is used where defendant’s try to establish the plaintiff “knew and appreciated the risk” of the activity before they performed it.
Most recently, in December of 2018, two moms brought separate lawsuits against Fly High Indoor Trampoline Park facility in Staten Island. So the answer of “probably” is evidenced more by these two recent lawsuits. One child, who remains anonymous, fell down several feet and sustained a head injury on the cement floor. He is said to have permanent and serious injuries as a result of the injury. While the lawsuit is still too early to tell the result, the fact that they were filed is a step in the right direction against the trampoline parks. For more about these two cases, check out this site. https://www.silive.com/westshore/2018/04/bad_bounces_lawsuits_allege_pa.html
Trampoline Park Injuries in New York
NBC New York reported in 2018 that ambulances have been called to tri-state trampoline parks 709 times in 3 years. That’s approximately once every 1.5 days! Even worse is that there are currently no New York laws that require trampoline parks to keep an injury log. https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/I-Team-Trampoline-Park-Safety-New-York-NYC-New-Jersey-475216323.html
Not only does the American Association of Pediatrics advise against trampoline park use, many parents do also. Injuries can range from simple ankle sprains to catastrophic injuries, and even paralyzing injuries. NBC Connecticut reported that there were more than 1,000 trampoline park injuries in the New York and Connecticut area since 2013. https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/investigations/Study-Shows-Alarming-Rise-in-Injuries-at-Trampoline-Parks-475345473.html
Dr. Armin Tehrany, an orthopedic surgeon from Manhattan Orthopedic Care in New York, said the repetitive motion of bouncing can cause bones to twist or break. In an effort to make things safer, Trampoline parks, in particular, should do a better job of disclosing medical findings, especially in terms of keeping young children off of them. https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-trampoline-injuries-st-0728-20170727-story.html
Dr. Tehrany also stated that these parks should be subject to further investigation, in addition to enforcement of concrete actions and guidelines that would help to prevent more injuries. https://www.mocnyc.com/dr-tehrany-shares-expert-opinion-trampoline-injury-put-three-year-old-body-cast/
Unfortunately, nothing has been done so far, and trampoline parks are increasing at a rapid rate. If your child was injured, please do yourself and them a favor and contact an attorney to discuss your options. Don’t take it from us, take it from a nationally renowned orthopedic doctor that states these injuries have lifelong consequences, and your child may never be the same.
Real People . . . Real Reviews
Read the reviews of the trampoline parks!
“PARENTS PLEASE BE CAREFUL BEFORE DECIDING TO BRING YOUNG ONES HERE.”
“This place is high on adventure and potentially high on injury if you are not careful. The employees do not enforce the rules, they’re understaffed, and most times they seem overcrowded. If you are thinking about bringing someone under 13 yrs old be careful. Full grown people are jumping around. My children have gotten injured twice with me supervising. I don’t see myself going back again. I got the scare of my life.”
“My son decided to play dodge ball and _____ was “court supervisor” there were younger kids playing with older teenagers which whom where playing very roughly aiming for younger kids heads and wouldn’t let anyone else throw the ball. When I asked ______ if this behavior was acceptable she rolled her eyes and said “well there just playing”…”
As you can see (and as you already know), safety is a huge issue and concern for these parents. Protecting young children should be at the top of the priority list.
Trampoline Parks in New York
The following is a sample list of trampoline parks in New York. Since New York is a large state, we have included a sample from around the Manhattan area, Long Island, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo. Not all of these have been sued, and this list is just a sample of some of the most popular trampoline parks in these cities which you may have visited.
Nothing above is meant to be legal advice for the state of New York. The only way to properly proceed is to have a lawyer licensed in New York review your case.