A news station in New Jersey reports that a family will be able to proceed with their lawsuit against a trampoline park regardless of wording in the waiver that states that the participant is signing over the right to bring the trampoline park to trial. The wording of the waiver stated that the dispute would have to go through arbitration rather than through the courts. On July 13th, 2016 the court ruled that this was not enforceable because it did not make it clear that the signee was signing over their right to sue. The agreement also did not explain how arbitration differs from a trial in court.
The 9 year broke his leg in 2014 while playing dodgeball at the Trampoline Park. The injury was caused by an older boy landing on the boy’s leg. The lesson to be learned from this story is that a waiver does not completely save you from being sued. Some businesses think that because they have a waiver signed that states they are not liable for a participant’s injuries they do not need insurance. This is not the case, as you can see the wording of a waiver can be very tricky. A lawyer’s job is to find loopholes in contracts.
Waivers alone are not enough. Trampoline Park’s need to have safety measures in place. For example participants should be close to the same size when playing in the dodgeball arena. This accident may have been prevented if this safety measure was implemented. And of course insurance is important to have for your financial protection.
New Jersey.com. “Family can sue trampoline park for son’s injury, court says”.http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2016/07/family_can_sue_trampoline_park_for_sons_injury_cou.html. July 13, 2016.
New Jersey State Judiciary. http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a1371-15.pdf. July 12, 2016.