Over the past ten years, Australia has jumped on board with the worldwide phenomenon of trampoline parks. Promoted as a fun and safe activity for children and adults alike, the safety standards implemented at these facilities have recently come under scrutiny.
Before you or your children attend a trampoline park, it's important to understand what your rights are and the obligations on the park operator to provide a safe environment for you and your family.
If you sustain an injury whilst attending a trampoline park, any potential compensation you can receive is referred to as a 'public liability' claim. These claims consider whether individuals and businesses have taken the necessary steps to ensure that their premises are safe for their intended use and do not pose an unacceptable risk of injury.
In an ordinary public liability claim, you have to establish that the owner of the facility breached their duty of care to you as a patron and as a result, you have sustained a significant injury. However, the Victorian Court of Appeal recently considered how this duty extends to operators of trampoline parks.
In their decision the Victorian Court of Appeal reaffirmed that when a visitor enters a trampoline park they should assume that they are at risk of injury. Therefore, if they bring a claim they must establish that they were injured in a way that could not have been predicted by them, but that could have been predicted by the owner.
By way of example, if you roll your ankle while jumping on a trampoline at a trampoline park you are unlikely to succeed in a public liability claim because when entering the facility it was likely you were aware there was a risk of injury. However, if your foot is damaged because you land on a concealed piece of metal at the edge of the trampoline, you may have a claim against the operator of the facility. This is because the risk was not something you could have consented to at the time of entry.
Genna Angelowitsch, Senior Associate at Adviceline Injury Lawyers and Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, said it was not about scaring people away from fun family time, but making sure people knew where they stood if something goes wrong.
These facilities are promoted as a wholesome way to combine quality family time with physical activity. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong during these types of activities, it's important that patrons and parents know how to access assistance and early intervention to minimise any potential long term consequences.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a public place, we invite you to speak to one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.