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Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

Toddler Falls Into Crawl Space at Trampoline Park

Indoor trampoline parks love to advertise their facilities as a fun, family friendly way to spend the day. Nationwide franchises like Sky Zone and Rockin’ Jump have exploded in popularity over the last decade by marketing themselves as premier destinations for children’s birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and graduation celebrations. It’s easy to see why kids and parents alike are dazzled by these places. They are usually thousands of square feet and contain multiple levels of trampolines, climbing equipment, obstacle courses, and other activities. But the vibrant setting of trampoline parks obscures a dangerous reality – the industry is entirely self-regulated, and thousands of children are seriously injured every year as a result.

A family in Roseville, California was confronted with the frightening truth behind trampoline parks during a recent outing at a Rockin’ Jump franchise location. As reported by ABC 10 News, LaShay Mori visited the facility with her three-year-old son DJ and was watching as he jumped on and off a trampoline. When Mori briefly turned away, the toddler slipped between some inflatable tubing and became trapped in a hidden crawl space underneath the equipment. Mori alleges that she and other family members frantically searched for nearly half an hour until they located DJ while Rockin’ Jump employees ignored their pleas for assistance. “I felt helpless and I was looking for the security of this facility…to help me and help manage the situation in a professional manner, which they did not,” she told ABC 10 News.

Fortunately, Mori’s son was uninjured after the Rockin’ Jump incident. But the thousands of children who sustain fractures, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries at trampoline parks annually are not so lucky. Warnken, LLC attorney Andrew Mazan, who specializes in representing victims of trampoline park injuries, explained to ABC 10 News that trampoline facilities don’t prioritize the safety of their guests because “There’s no federal regulation. There’s nobody stepping in providing some oversight.” Instead, laws dictating trampoline park inspections, equipment, staff training, and insurance liability are administered at the state level and can vary wildly. In many states, they are virtually non-existent. This means that in some regions of the country, parents may be able to sue a trampoline park even if they signed a liability waiver on their child’s behalf.

Currently, only a handful of states have enacted any kind of meaningful legislation to hold these parks accountable for the welfare of their guests. In California, where LaShay Mori and her son had their nerve-wracking experience at Rockin’ Jump, the most recent bill designed to regulate trampoline facilities was introduced in 2014 and never signed into law. And until government mandated oversight of the trampoline park industry materializes, families remain at risk.

 

Sources: How safe are trampoline parks? As their popularity soars, so do injuries (today.com)

Trends in Trampoline Fractures: 2008–2017 | American Academy of Pediatrics (aappublications.org)

Child falls through uncovered hole at Roseville trampoline park | abc10.com

Trampoline Park and Home Trampoline Injuries | American Academy of Pediatrics (aappublications.org)