Senator Says Trampoline Parks Cover Up Deaths
September 24, 2019
A Connecticut senator, Richard Blumenthal, claims that trampoline parks circumvent justice and legal repercussions by forcing participants to sign arbitration waivers. Arbitration waivers are legal documents that forbid individuals from filing legal claims in a court of law if they are injured.
Instead, an arbitrator – not a judge – hears the injury victim’s complaints; the proceedings are much less formal than trials by judge or jury. The Senator is also alleging that trampoline parks falsify numbers on injuries and fatalities – and all in order to keep making the big bucks while innocent and unsuspecting people get hurt.
Many Dangers of Trampoline Parks
There is a good reason that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against recreational trampoline use: it is because it can result in serious, permanent, and sometimes even deadly injury. Until 2009, the rate of trampoline-related injuries was steadily decreasing – but then it began to go up. This could be in part related to the influx of recreational trampoline parks springing up across the country, since they have become more and more popular in recent years.
Although data shows that children are more susceptible to experiencing trampoline-related injuries than adults are, the number of grown ups injured has also risen. Though a large number of children sustain injuries both at home and at trampoline parks, studies show that a greater number of adults are hurt at trampoline parks than from home recreational products. For adults and children alike, however, research indicates that the injuries sustained can be devastating and life threatening.
Lack of Federal Oversight Leads to Catastrophic Injuries
Not many people are aware that despite there being more than 800 trampoline parks in the country, there are no federal regulations in place to oversee safety and health concerns – instead, each park implements its own standards voluntarily. There have been millions of injuries (and an estimated 100,000 more happen each year) and still, legislative changes have not been made to protect children, teens, and adults.
Some of the most common injuries (and causes for injury) associated with trampoline parks are:
- Sprains, fractures, and dislocations (nearly 93% of fractures occur to children under 16-years-old);
- Injuries while flipping or trying to do a flip;
- Lower extremity (e.g. leg and knee) injuries;
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries;
- Coming into contact with another person, or jumper;
- Injuries that happen on landing, and:
- Neck injuries (which are especially common in adults)
Increasing Trampoline Park Safety Through Legislation
A “CBS This Morning” report showed six deaths at trampoline parks since 2012, as well as many permanent and disabling injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has pledged to continue investigating trampoline park safety concerns, but lacks the power for any additional oversight. So, Senator Blumenthal is sponsoring the Fair Act, which would disallow businesses from forcing arbitration clauses on consumers. If the Fair Act passes into law, injured consumers would be able to take their case to court to be heard by a judge and/or jury instead of being restricted to arbitration.
One way to support legislative efforts for increasing safety regulations and injury reporting at recreational trampoline parks is to voice your concerns to local and state representatives. With millions of injuries over the last few decades, the time for changes is now. To find out who your state’s representatives are, visit: find my house rep or find my senator
If you have questions about injuries you or a loved one sustained at a trampoline park, someone at our firm can help. Please contact a representative directly.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947
If you or your child were injured at an indoor trampoline park, we are happy to answer your questions and have one of our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers review your case for free. Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.