Trampolines are a favorite activity of children, teens, and adults, and can be found in the backyards of many families across America. They are also notoriously dangerous and can cause serious permanent injury if the person jumping lands wrong. Other injuries occur when people fall off the trampoline or land on the springs or frame. Even when adults are supervising and the trampoline has a net and padding, accidents happen.
One important rule for safety is that only one person should use the trampoline at a time. The plaintiff in a lawsuit against a New Jersey homeowner learned this the hard way when he was on a trampoline with friends at a party. In a collision on the trampoline, his leg was severely broken and required multiple surgeries, bolts, and rods to recover from the injury. The homeowner was not present at the party because of a work obligation. Instead she left her parents in charge of the party for her teenage son. Two years after the accident, the plaintiff sued alleging that the adults present did not “sufficiently warn him of the dangers of multiple-person trampoline use.”
The case was thrown out of court by a judge who ruled that the grandparents did not have a duty of care to the plaintiff, given their relationship with him, and that they were not legally responsible because they were not the owners of the property.
On appeal, two judges remanded the case back to Superior Court, where it will be heard by a jury. The judges noted that in depositions, the homeowner stated she left her parents in charge of the teenage party guests, but the grandparents’ statement denied this and said they were only there to help with the food.
The plaintiff described how his friends forced him onto the 14-foot diameter trampoline to play a game with them. He had never been on a trampoline before. In his deposition, he said that the grandparents saw that there were multiple people on the trampoline, but did nothing to stop them. He was only on the trampoline for a minute when he collided with a friend and felt his leg snap. He has since been diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a chronic pain condition that may require treatment by a pain specialist for the rest of his life.
The State Appellate Court judges wrote that the lower court should not have dismissed the case because there were issues of fact, such as the role of the grandparents at the party that needed to be decided by a jury. Other issues include whether the grandparents knew they should be supervising the partygoers and how much they knew about trampoline use and safety guidelines.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that trampolines never be used at home. As a homeowner, if you choose to have a trampoline, make sure your homeowner’s policy covers trampoline-related injuries or obtain a rider that does.
New Jersey Premises Liability Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Fight for Victims of Trampoline AccidentsIf you or someone you love has been injured in a trampoline accident, contact us online or call 732-777-0100 to speak to an experienced premises liability lawyer at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP. We are dedicated to fighting for those injured by the negligence of others and will work to make sure you receive the maximum compensation available for your case. From our offices in Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank, we serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.