Can a Trampoline Park Injury Lead to a Civil Lawsuit?

A family in British Columbia is suing Extreme Air Park Inc., the operator of a trampoline park in Richmond, for wrongdoing leading to the death of Jason Greenwood in January 2018. Greenwood’s death is part of a string of serious injuries suffered in trampoline parks coast-to-coast, and a catalyst for calls for increased federal regulation of the facilities. Unfortunately, as many personal injury lawyers have discovered, recovering compensation from trampoline parks is a serious challenge.

Greenwood’s wife Tanya Hayes and his three step-children are the plaintiffs in the case. Their statement of claim states that Greenwood died after performing a somersault into a foam pit. It alleges the facility did not provide sufficient instruction or supervision and did not prevent him from performing dangerous maneuvers.

Extreme Air Park denies all responsibility for Greenwood’s death. It says it provided multiple oral warnings and instructions and notes that Greenwood signed a release prior to using the facility. It also suggests that Greenwood was impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue.

“The alleged incident occurred when Mr. Greenwood, with full knowledge of the characteristics and features of the facility and premises, misused the facility and the premises,” Extreme Air Park Inc. said in a statement.

It is doubtful that the plaintiffs’ claim against Extreme Air Park will be successful. After an Edmonton man broke his neck in a trampoline park in 2017, one lawyer told CBC Calgary that the parks’ waivers make it challenging to prove liability.

“… in the cases that we’ve looked at we felt that liability, establishing liability being the first issue, was not possible,” he said.

Because personal injury lawyers find it difficult to secure compensation from trampoline parks, several advocacy groups are pushing for stricter rules. Technical Safety BC, which regulates amusement devices in that province, believes trampoline parks put the public safety at risk.

“Our team works hard on behalf of all British Columbians to provide government with impartial advice on how to enhance the safety system and ensure these very unfortunate and tragic events are prevented,” the group said in a release. “As technologies change and new devices come onto the market, safety regulation needs to thoughtfully adapt to reduce hazards and make the public safer.”

Though civil claims against trampoline parks and other amusement facilities are challenging, injury victims should still seek advice from a legal professional. If you’ve been hurt at a trampoline park, contact Will Davidson LLP today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with our team of experienced personal injury lawyers.

Image credit: Ryze Glasgow/Flickrs

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