Trampoline Parks are only increasing in popularity; since 2014 the parks have increased from three to more than 200 nationwide. They are viewed as a perfect way for people of all ages to have fun, with the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP) estimating 15 million users of the parks every year.
On the flip side of this, it takes only a quick Google search for worldwide reports on both the risk of and actual “catastrophic injuries” suffered at trampoline parks: three people reportedly broke their backs in one day at one park in England in 2017; and, at the end of January this year a Canadian man died following an accident at a trampoline park.
The BBC reported yesterday that in 2017 there were 1,181 ambulances called out to trampoline parks across England (accounting for more than 3 a day). Whilst the figures apply to England alone, it is expected the position is comparable in Scotland. In 2015 there were reports across the Scottish press that users of a new Scottish trampoline park suffered over 100 injuries in the first three weeks it was opened. The injuries suffered varied in severity, from broken legs and arms to torn ligaments and even a broken neck.
Voluntary standards only for Trampoline Parks
Michael Harrison, owner of Gravity Trampoline Parks, who is leading the calls for safety regulation, commented that, “If you had some deep pockets and a shed you could open a site. That needs to change.” Currently there are only voluntary standards governing how they are run, published in 2017, but the parks are not regulated and this is a cause of concern.
Liability waivers – are they valid?
Those who have been to trampoline parks will know that on arrival you will need to sign a liability waiver. Some trampoline parks even have the option to complete the waivers in advance online. Are these waivers valid? The law enforces a duty of care on trampoline parks to its users. Whilst some waivers might try to exclude liability for injury, or even death, caused by using the parks, these do not mean the injured person cannot make a claim for injury. If the trampoline park could be shown to have acted negligently and that negligence resulted in an injury, there is still a valid claim. This is due to the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, which exists to protect consumers against unreasonable terms.
Overall, there are admittedly lots of benefits to trampolining. However, it does carry inherent risks so those using the parks should be mindful of the safety briefings given.
If you have been injured as a result of an accident at a trampoline park and wish to discuss a potential claim please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.