Legal Newsline

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Trampoline park wins case over flipping injury

By Dawn Geske | Apr 27, 2017

Medical malpractice 02

BOISE, Idaho (Legal Newsline) – The Idaho Supreme Court on April 10 ruled in favor of a trampoline park in a case filed by a then 17-year-old boy over allegations he was injured while performing a triple front flip.

Seth Griffith filed a suit against JumpTime Meridian LLC an indoor trampoline park with both a large and small foam pits. Upon Griffith’s visit to JumpTime on Jan. 11, 2014, the court documents state he attempted a triple front flip and was seriously injured during the maneuver.

According to court documents, Griffith attended the trampoline park with his girlfriend and her younger brother and sister. After spending some time casually playing on the trampolines, he started doing front flips, back flips and cartwheels. 

Griffith attempted a triple front flip but while doing the maneuver, according to court documents, he didn’t rotate far enough and landed on his head and neck. This caused him to suffer a cervical dislocation and fracture. He required a fusion of his C6 and C7 vertebrae from the injury.

In his suit, Griffith alleged that JumpTime was negligent in causing his injury, citing that he was younger than 18 years of age and it was JumpTime’s responsibility to supervise him while he was at the trampoline park. 

In his testimony, Griffith acknowledged that when he was doing his flips, he always tried to land on his back as he felt it was safer, so his head didn’t hit his knees. JumpTime had signs posted at the park instructing attendees to, “Jump feet first into the pit,” Land on your feet and seat,” and “No landing on your head or stomach." It was also the company’s policy to have employees enforce these rules.

Additional signs through the park stated that its Foam Pit Patron Responsibility Code stated to "jump and land on two feet.” Griffith maintained that if the JumpTime employee had told him to land on his feet, he would never have attempted the triple jump.

JumpTime filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that there was no negligence on its behalf as there was no evidence of causation, according to court documents. Griffith argued that signs at JumpTime provided a “standard of care” and that the employee of the company did not discourage him from trying to do the front triple flip.

JumpTime’s summary judgment motion was granted by the district court. Griffith appealed, but the state Supreme Court based on a lack of evidence to show causation. Both parties were denied attorneys fees in the case. JumpTime was awarded respondent costs at the close of the case.

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Idaho Supreme Court