If you’re a parent of a Texas minor who was injured in a trampoline park, we can help you determine if you have a case against a trampoline or jump park. Though you may have signed a “liability waiver,” it’s very possibly this waiver will not stop you from having a lawsuit against a facility. Texas law regarding liability waivers has been favorable to minors in the past, resulting in the first known multi-million dollar settlement against a trampoline park (more on that below). Texas is the second largest state in the US, and is home to dozens of trampoline parks in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin metro areas. This translates to a massive amount of injuries, including minors and adults.
However, just because one trampoline park lawsuit was settled for millions, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will win your case, or that you even have a case. While we can never guarantee results, we will guarantee that we won’t waste your time. Below is some of the basic information relevant in a trampoline park lawsuit. In order to prove any negligence case, there are 4 essential elements. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Was someone negligent or was there strict liability for an injury? Did that result in damages to your child? Trampoline parks try to get you to waive the negligence claim on behalf of your minor child. The information below only scratches the surface of what’s involved in a trampoline park lawsuit in Texas. Please feel free to call us anytime for a specific look at your situation.
A waiver tries to be exactly what it sounds like, a document that forces you to “waive” certain rights or privileges by signing your name and entering the jump park. In this case, it wants to prevent you from filing a lawsuit. We’re going to go out on a limb here and guess you didn’t have your lawyer with you when you signed that waiver at the park’s counter.
Most waivers at the big-box trampoline parks are very similar. They are long, dense, and difficult to read. Reading on an iPad or other tablet device generally doesn’t make them easier or more readable. The waivers typically try to release the trampoline park of ALL liability for negligent actions, including your child’s right to bring a lawsuit if injured.
As if waiving your child’s rights isn’t severe enough, at the time of publication, Texas trampoline parks do not have regulations regarding safety and operations. The facility that demanded you to waive you and your child’s rights, is not required to follow and specific safety protocols.
If you’ve already read enough and want to know the next steps…call us. If you want to keep reading and learn more about the possibility of a lawsuit…go ahead.
If I signed a waiver for my child, can I still sue?
Probably yes, your injured child can still sue a trampoline park. Please see more below.
Texas case law has generally been in favor of minors having their own rights and refusing to enforce a waiver that a parent signed on behalf of their child. However, every waiver is slightly different, and one tweak in the language could shift the entire case.
The Texas Court of Appeals held in Munoz v. II Jaz, Inc., that generally speaking, it is void against public policy for a court to enforce a parental waiver on behalf of a minor. In Munoz, a minor child went with parents to an amusement park. The park required a liability waiver to be signed prior to entrance. The child was subsequently injured after falling from an amusement ride later in the day. The parents filed suit against the park. The case ultimately made its way to the Texas Court of Appeals. The Court held that due to overarching public policy reasons, they would not enforce the waiver. Even though family law entitled parents to make “significant decisions” on behalf of the child, waiving a personal injury lawsuit would do more harm than good, as it is Texas’ goal to protect minor children. If you want to read more about the case…click here.
What does this mean for you?
Now, more than ever, is the appropriate time to protect your child’s future and interest. Please contact a trampoline park injury lawyer to determine if you may have a case.
Trampoline Park Injuries in Texas
You may have heard of the $11.5 million dollar settlement against a trampoline park a few years ago. This was the first known significant settlement in the country against a trampoline park. This tragic injury occurred at Cosmic Jump Trampoline Park in Houston, when a teenager struck his head on the concrete floor, resulting in a skull fracture and brain injury.
Again, as of the time of this publication, Texas does not regulate the safety procedures of its trampoline park industry. There are a staggering number of injuries caused by trampoline parks, some obviously more severe than others. Because there is no regulation, Texas trampoline parks are not required to report injury numbers to the Texas Department of Insurance.
What Real People are Saying
Dr. Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt at the Texas Children’s Hospital reported that “patients suffered more severe and debilitating injuries and require hospitalization at trampoline parks [than on home trampolines].”
Dr. Leaming-Van Zandt also went on to state in an NPR piece, “I don’t think parents recognize how significant the injuries can be or how frequently they occur…”
Not only do doctors, especially pediatric orthopedics, warn about safety issues with trampoline parks, parents like yourselves do also. One Dad at park in Houston said “Between the duck tape on the trampoline the squeaky springs and the 2 foot ball pit the whole place is a safety hazard.”
Another parent who visited a park in Houston noted the alarming lack of proper supervision. The parent said, “I also sat and watched a kid (neither mine nor in my party) stuck on the ropes for at least 10 minutes. After I alerted a worker about the child, I watched for another 10 minutes as this kid screamed ‘Help! I’m stuck!’ before someone came to his rescue.”
Clayon G., a frustrated parent in Dallas, stated his concerns with the safety measures at a different trampoline park in saying, “So if your kid is too young to do an activity, just pay more money and they will give the same aged kid a wrist band to do that same “dangerous” activity.”
Finally, Michael in Plano, Texas stated that “The play area for the young children (toddler aged) is completely off limits to adults which I find crazy. I had no intention or desire of wanting to jump on the trampoline but thought it would be nice to at least walk along the side to monitor our son who also wanted (understandably) for mom and dad to be up there with him.”
While these are just a small sample of reviews, it’s clear that safety is a concern. The combination of parents and orthopedic surgeons stating that these parks are dangerous deserves attention.
Texas Trampoline Parks
The following is a list of some of the common jump parks around major cities. This is not an exhaustive list, nor does it represent the list of parks that have been sued. Just being on the list below does not say anything about a particular park’s safety or lack thereof.
– Altitude Trampoline Park
– Urban Air Trampoline Park
– Jumpoline Park
– Jump Party USA
– Jump Street
– Altitude Trampoline Park
– Urban Air
– Jumping World Garland
– Sky Zone Trampoline Park
– Sky Sports Trampoline Park
– Flip N’ Fun Center Trampoline Park
– Urban Air Trampoline Park
– Jumping World Houston
– Jumping Jaxx