New regulations focus on trampoline injuries
One of the more contentious areas of premises liability law involves public recreational facilities such as swimming pools, water parks and now, trampoline parks. What constitutes reasonable safety precautions for activities that are inherently risky? According to State Senator Ted Lieu, trampoline parks are not doing enough to prevent patrons from potentially serious injuries. He introduced a bill to change that situation.
Indoor trampoline parks have become a popular destination, offering birthday packages for children, exercise classes for adults and competitive team sports. However, many patrons — including parents — do not understand how dangerous bouncing on a trampoline can be. The legislation, SB 256, gives the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health the authority to conduct inspections and requires safety training for all employees. It also increases the liability insurance requirement for trampoline park operators to $1 million per incident.
The Academy of American Pediatrics would like to ban privately owned or public trampolines altogether, citing the following statistics from 2009:
- 98,000 trampoline-related injuries
- 3,100 hospitalizations
- 40 percent of injuries result from falls
The majority of these accidents occurred on private property. Half of trampoline-related injuries to children involve bone fractures or sprains. However, when children accidentally fall or jump off the edge, they are at risk for serious head and neck or spinal cord injuries. Authorities warn that this can happen even when there is protective netting in place.
If you or your child is injured because the owners of a recreational facility neglected to enforce reasonable safety measures, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit — even if you signed a waiver. You may also have a case if your child was injured on private property. California homeowners are required to install safeguards around potentially dangerous areas such as pools, ponds or backyard trampolines. An experienced attorney can explain your legal options for recovering the damages you are entitled to under California premises liability statutes.