‘One of the fundamental principles of our American democracy is that everyone gets their day in court…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) After several deaths and injuries at trampoline parks, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., thinks the federal government should regulate them because they “want to rig the system.”
Trampoline parks usually require guests to sign “forced arbitration clauses” that prevent them from suing the company if they are injured.
Blumenthal sponsored the Fair Act in February, which would outlaw forced arbitration clauses in consumer-protection lawsuits.
“I was horrified, as a parent, not to mention a public official,” Blumenthal told CBS News. “Trampoline parks want to avoid justice. They want to rig the system against anyone who is injured who may assert claims against them.”
Many trampoline parks call themselves “extreme air sports,” indicating a high risk of injury.
For example, the waiver for Urban Air Adventure Park, a franchise trampoline park corporation, states that “trampolining is an action/extreme sport and is an inherently dangerous activity.”
Trampoline parks have become more popular in the last decade, leading to an increase in injuries at them. Today there are more than 800 trampoline parks, up from about 40 in 2011, The Hill reported.
Blumenthal accused trampoline parks of “trying to hide individual deaths, the total number. Everything about these injuries that may cast them in a bad light.”
“Congress should have a role here … but the biggest deterrent to death and injury at these parks will be the park owners being hauled into court, held responsible, deemed culpable, having to pay,” Blumenthal said, according to CBS News.
Courts have forced trampoline parks to pay damages to injured guests when the injuries resulted from faulty equipment and mismanagement.
A Texas trampoline park paid about $11.5 million in 2016 after a teenage boy fell through a ripped trampoline and suffered a traumatic brain injury, WFAA reported.
“One of the fundamental principles of our American democracy is that everyone gets their day in court,” Blumenthal said. “Forced arbitration deprives Americans of that basic right. This kind of injustice has to end.”