A shocking increase in life changing injuries is occurring nationwide due to the emergence of indoor trampoline Parks. Many of these trampoline parks combine smaller trampolines into what they call a “trampoline court” that looks like a large checkerboard. The small trampolines do not have the same amount of bounce as a normal size trampoline and are less forgiving upon impact. Fractured wrists and ankles are not uncommon. Children are encouraged to jump from square to square and expected to jump in the center (a distance of about 7 to 9 feet), and land on two (2) feet. This is not possible. Injuries occur when the children land on one (1) foot, or the harder outer portions of the trampoline bed, or the frames. Trampoline parks encourage users to perform flips, even though one manufacturer of the trampoline beds has said they are too small to perform flips safely. Tragic cases of death and quadriplegia have resulted. Even more unbelievable, these parks combine trampoline use with other games such as dodgeball and multiple persons jumping together that create an ultrahazardous activity that more and more frequently result in devastating injuries. The dangerous designs and operations of the trampoline park industry continue despite having been repeatedly warned for more than a decade by gymnastics and safety experts of the foreseeable harm to the general public.
The indoor trampoline parks market themselves to children, hosting birthday parties, camps and “Glow Nights” when jumpers glow under black lights and lasers in darkened facilities. Common sense dictates that good lighting is necessary for depth perception, awareness of surroundings, and to jump safely. “Glow Nights” is another money-making gimmick for trampoline parks that demonstrates the industry’s lack of concern for safety. Children are most susceptible to heartbreaking injuries. The indoor trampoline parks know full well how dangerous these activities are and require parents to sign releases before the children can enter. The releases speak plainly about death, broken bones and paralysis … and they are not kidding. What they don’t tell you about are the hidden dangers, that they don’t follow industry rules and guidelines, or for that matter their own safety rules. What they don’t tell you is that the Releases parents sign for their children are illegal and unenforceable in New Jersey and most other states. See Hojnowski v. Vans Skate Park, 187 N.J. (2006). What they don’t tell you is that the Releases that adults sign for themselves are unenforceable in New Jersey and many other states if you can prove “gross negligence”. See Stelluti v. Casapenn Enterprises, LLC, 203 N.J. 286 (2010). (On July 12, 2021, our proofs defeated Sky Zone’s Motion for Summary Judgment to dismiss the “Gross Negligence” Count in a Complaint.)