Sky High Sports -- the Bellevue "fun center" outfitted with trampoline floors and walls -- faces a lawsuit after a child allegedly bounced into "an unpadded pole," fracturing his skull and causing amnesia.
But, instead of a cushy landing, the kid, whose age is not given in the lawsuit, "hit his head on an unpadded pole sticking out from the foam pit, causing skull fracture, head lacerations, a concussion, and retrograde and anteriograde amnesia."
The double-dose of amnesia supposedly impacts "more recent memories closer to the traumatic incident," (retrograde amnesia), and also causes "a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact," (anteriograde amnesia).
The kid's guardian, George Kargianis, wants Sky High to pay for medical bills, attorney fees, and "unspecified damages." Kargianis' attorney did not return a call seeking comment on the case.
Sky High Sports is national chain headquartered in Nevada with 16 franchise locations in seven states. They hosts birthday parties, adult dodgeball leagues, private events, and other activities for "the young or young at heart." Here's how the company's website describes their set up:
Unlike home trampolines, with our specially designed, spring loaded frame, landing here has more give. All frames and springs are covered by 2 inch thick safety pads. With 360 degrees of trampoline walls and court supervisors, there's no falling off this trampoline.Even though there's "no falling off," the company requires guardians of all jumpers under 18 to sign a "Customer Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk." The document cautions that trampolines can cause, "physical or emotional injury, paralysis, [and/or] death," and notes all that bouncing around, "entails certain risks that simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity."
But, as any attorney worth his briefcase will attest, it's possible to sue anybody for anything. Despite the liability waiver and explicit warning that a visit to Sky High could very well end with a trip to the emergency room, the company has been hit with five personal injury lawsuits in King County in the last six months alone. In March of 2010, just a few months after the trampoline funhouse opened, Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue experienced a notable uptick in leg and back injuries, and KIRO 7 "consumer investigators" uncovered tales of "shattered bones."
The attorney representing Sky High declined to comment on the latest round of pending litigation, but Jerry Raymond, the co-founder of the company, has said previously that injuries come with the territory when you unleash a pack of kids in a room filled with contraptions that propel them several feet into the air and send them careening off walls.
"There may be two kids who get hurt," Raymond told Q13 recently, "but there's 998 that got exercise, had a great time, and just think it's the greatest place ever."