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Questions and Professional Answers

Questions and Professional Answers

  • trampoline injury

    My daughter's friend got a trampoline for xmas and her father had the parents sign a waiver,will that stand? all we want is for the medical bills to be covered by them?
    • Re: trampoline injury

      It may, depending upon the factual situation that caused the injuries. You should consult with an attorney and have them review the waiver and what caused the injuries, to determine your next step. If you would like to speak with me regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me.Yours truly,Bryan619.400.4929

      Bryan C. Becker
      Your Lawyer for Life.
      1205 Prospect Street, Suite 400
      La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Trampoline liability

    We own a trampoline that neighborhood kids use. We know that there is a good chance someone will eventually be injured. How can we best protect ourselves from liability? Waiver or Consent form? More insurance?
    • Trampoline liability

      You recognize the risk, which means you should use reasonable care to protect yourself and the kids, so there's a multi-pronged response.

      Generally, a homeowner is not automatically liable just because someone gets hurt; the plaintiff would have to show that you were negligent with respect to a dangerous condition.

      To protect yourselves:

      Homeowners' insurance is absolutely vital. You should check with your insurance agent; tell him you have a trampoline and you want to make sure there isn't any exclusion if someone was hurt.

      A consent or waiver form won't hurt, it might help make kids a little more careful. But it's doubtful how much legal effect it would have, especially since minors generally can't make binding contracts. You need to check with a Delaware lawyer about that, and also ask about whether your state recognizes "assumption of risk."

      To protect the kids and yourself:

      First, make sure the trampoline is in good shape and maintain it. Otherwise, if injury was caused by, say, a missing spring, that could be negligence.

      Second, use reasonable care to supervise the kids using it: have an enforce rules against horseplay, multiple people being on it, etc.

      Third, I think you need some secure way of preventing it from use when you're not around.

      Doing these things will help show that you used reasonable care if someone does get hurt, and more important, reduces the chances of that happening.

      The above does not constitute legal opinion and is offered for the purposes of discussion only. The law differs in every jurisdiction, and you should not rely on any opinion except that of an attorney you have retained, who has a professional duty to advise you after being fully informed of all the pertinent facts and who is familiar with the applicable law.

      William Marvin
      Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C.
      Suite 2900, Two Commerce Square
      Philadelphia, PA 19103
    • Backyard Liability

      For an accurate legal opinion, hire an attorney in DE.

      As a child, some of my fondest memories were afternoons spent on a trampoline at a friend's house. But that was then and this is now.

      As an attorney, (if you are really concerned) if you want to control your liability -- get rid of it.

      What a sad thing to say.

      If you want to limit folks like me from bringing an action against you when a neighborhood child is injured, I would consider the following to be the most harmful to my action against you:

      1) Written permission from the kids parents ack. the risk and auth them to play on the tramp.

      2) a fence around the tramp that is locked and no one is allowed to use the tramp. when you are not at home. (Your biggest ristk is going to be from transient kids who come onto your property, roughouse on the tramp and get injured).

      3) Never allow people onto the tramp. that you do not know. Only let your children and their friends play on it. This one precaution will eliminate most of your risk.

      4) Pack it up in the winter and on weekends when you are out of towm. Or, at least, disable it --remove springs -- close and seal with a chain, etc.

      5) Check DE law to see if posting signs will reduce your liabiltiy. In GA, certain activities gain IMMUNITY by simply posting signs and getting signatures. Horseback riding is immune from suit if a sign is posted containing language conforming to a certain GA code section. Delaware may have a similiar statute for haz activities. However, one difference here is your tramp. is not an amusement for hire.

      6) Never charge $ for it. The liability rules change.

      7) The big $ risk is spinal cord injuries. It is unclear to me what actions should be taken with a tramp to eliminate or reduce the risk of spinal cord injuries, but if the manufacturer has suggestions in its literature about how to reduce or eliminate injuries -- take them.

      Hope this helps.

      Hugh Wood
      Wood & Meredith
      3756 Lavista Road, Suite 250
      Atlanta (tucker), GA 30084
  • state laws

    my son fractured his back on a trampoline at another home. (i asked a previous question). what do you know about a recreational land law that wisconsin passed to protect landowners if that invite someone to hunt, fish ect... do you know of any cases where insurance companies tried to use this law regarding a trampoline injury suit. also, do you know of any cases where the manufactuer of a trampoline has been sued for not selling a trampoline with the net around it. thank you.
    • Re: state laws

      I think the recreation statute was designed to cover things like hunting. I can't see that extending to other forms of "playing." I'm not aware of cases where munufacturers were negligent solely for failing to have a net around a trampoline. I'm sure insurance companies will use all available defenses when trying to avoid paying in such cases.

      Thomas Schober
      Schober Schober & Mitchell, S.C.
      16845 West Cleveland Avenue
      New Berlin, WI 53151-3532
  • Trampoline Liability

    My neighbors just bought a large trampoline for their three children. It is set up in their backyard, but the property is not fenced in. They put tags on the trampoline that state ''No Trespassing'', and ''Play at your own risk''. Will these warnings make them not legally liable should someone trespass and use the trampoline anyway? Are they not legally liable if someone gets hurt and files a lawsuit against them?
    • Re: Trampoline Liability

      Why are you asking regarding your neighbor? Perhaps they should be posting this instead of you.Bottomline is that a lawsuit could be filed. The warnings would go towards a defense that the neighbor might have toward any claim.By the way, since you are aware of the warnings, you probably have an increased duty to watch over your own children to make sure that they do not go there.

      Burton Padove
      Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove
      533 W. Ridge Road, Suite C
      Munster, IN 46321
  • Trampoline Liability

    If a person gets hurt on my trampoline while on it without my permission I am liable? For example if a neighbor child decides to go in my backyard when I am not home and jump on the trampoline and gets injured am I responsible?
    • Re: Trampoline Liability

      Yes, you can be responsible, depending on all the circumstances. Be sure your insurance is paid up!

      Burton Padove
      Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove
      533 W. Ridge Road, Suite C
      Munster, IN 46321
    • Re: Trampoline Liability

      Depends. Your homeowner's insurance should pick it up, but I can assure you that Plaintiff's lawyer will no doubt look at the precautions you took to keep kids off. It is, after all, a very attractive item to a kid. Liability here is a "probable." Not a certainty, but more than likely, you'd best be contacting your insurance company.

      Voyle A. Glover
      Attorney at Law
      101 W 75th Pl
      Merrillville, IN 46410-4775
  • How can I avoid liability if I purchase a trampoline?

    My wife always wanted a trampoline when she was a child. We now have a child of our own and she would like to buy one.I am concerned with the inevitable event that neighborhood kids will wind up using it. Even if I require that their parents give permission, I am afraid of the liability. Is there ANY way to help avoid liability? Can I get them to sign a waiver or something similar.. and if I do will that really help if they sue?thanks for your time.
    • Re: How can I avoid liability if I purchase a trampoline?

      Well, you can't. They, the social guests, can still sue you -- but you (the homeowner) should win. Cite as: 210 Ga.App. 865, 438 S.E.2d 113) Court of Appeals of Georgia. RILEY et al. v. BRASUNAS et al. No. A93A1506. Oct. 27, 1993. Reconsideration Denied Nov. 12, 1993. Certiorari Denied Jan. 28, 1994. Parent of child who was injured when he slipped from chin-bar which he had reached by jumping on trampoline brought action against owners of home in which the accident occurred and the owners' 15-year-old son. The Superior Court, Fulton County, Long, J., granted defendant's motion for summary judgment, and the mother appealed. The Court of Appeals, Cooper, J., held that: (1) mother and child were social guests and thus licensees, not invitees; (2) danger presented by game which children were playing was obvious; and (3) owners and son did not act willfully, wantonly, or recklessly. Affirmed. * ** If you want the full case and an additonal case, email me at hwood@woodandmeredith.com and I will email them to you. Hugh Wood

      Hugh Wood
      Wood & Meredith
      3756 Lavista Road, Suite 250
      Atlanta (tucker), GA 30084
  • trampoline

    Our neighbor is telling us that the trampoline in our back yard is illegal, she has threatened to call the police is we do not remove it. Is it illegal to have a trampoline in the state of Florida.
    • Re: trampoline

      I am unaware of any law that would prohibit you from having a trampoline in your back yard. You might call the local zoning authority. They would know for sure.

      Alan Wagner
      Wagner, Vaughan & McLaughlin, P.A.
      601 Bayshore Boulevard; Suite 910
      Tampa, FL 33606
    • Re: trampoline

      Do you live in a homeowner's association? If so, have you read your governing documents? And if so, Is the person who said this a member of the board?

      Jean Winters
      Winters & Winters, PA
      PO Box 272662
      Boca Raton, FL 33427
  • Trampoline

    I own a trampoline. If a child has permission to be on the trampoline and they get hurt, am I liable for their injuries? Is there any insurance or legal avenues I can take to cover myself if someone were to get hurt?
    • Re: Trampoline

      In short, your liability or culpability for a trampoline injury would depend on many variables. In other words, it is fact dependent.You should consider raising the limits on your homeowner policy as well as obtain what's called an "umbrella" or "excess liabilty" insurance policy. ask your agent if a trampoline requires a special "rider" to your policy.Also, supervision of the users is important, albeit not always practical. If you can't be there every second while the trampoline is being utilized, at a minimum, you should establish rules of safety about its use not only with your children but any others who may want to jump and tumble. Of course, these rules must be communicated frequently to new users and to those who have used the trampoline previously. It wouldn't hurt to alert other parents to your rules and seek their input about any limits they wish you to place on their kid(s).Finally, I'd suggest you read carefully the "Owner's Manual" for the trampoline and establish more stringent guidelines than it advocates---thus meeting or exceeding any standard of care required of you as a trampoline owner. Also, check any web sites for trampoline safety. A good place to start is a recent 20-20 type newsmagazine report about trampolines in the back yard and issues related to them. I recall an "Association" of some sort being mentioned in that report which you would find helpful.

      R. Layne Holley
      R. Layne Holley, Attorney
      9032 Stone Walk Place
      Memphis, TN 38138-7824
  • Is Homeowner Negligent for Flying Trampoline

    During a storm, a trampoline as blown from a non-abuting neighbor's yard (across the street and two properties away) into mine, damaging both of our vehicles and exterior lights on the house. Is he liable for damages? He did NOT have it secured down. Also, the trampoline's User manual and a label attached to the trampoline stated it is recommended the trampoline be disassembled and stored during bad weather. His Homeonwer's insurance says they are looking to see if he was negligent under Indiana law. We have estimates and the total damage is about $3500. Can we demand a rental car while ours are being repaired?
    • Re: Is Homeowner Negligent for Flying Trampoline

      Yes, he was negligent, which the adjuster knows full well. Tell the adjuster to promptly pay the repair bill, complete with car rental, or you will hire an attorney to pursue claims for property damages and for bad faith insurance practices. Good luck.

      C. David DuMond
      Law Offices of David DuMond
      2478 South Delaware Street
      Indianapolis, IN 46225-2002
  • Damage from neighbor's trampoline

    On a windy day last week, our neighbor's full size trampoline flew into our yard and landed against my wife's car parked in our driveway. The neighbor retrieved the trampoline without bothering to inform us of the incident. The neighbor on the other side of our lot saw it happen and informed us. When confronted as to why he didn't inform us, the trampoline owner said that he didn't see any damage and that we should ''just let it go.''My wife took the vehicle to a dealer and was quoted $540 to fix the damage. It was a small dent and some deep scratches, but they have to removed the quarter panel, repair, paint, and reinstall.We have not presented the neighbor with the estimate, yet; we just got it yesterday. Since he is an attorney, I thought it best to find out whether he is legally responsible for this damage. I don't know for certain, but I assume the trampoline came with instructions to secure it to the ground.
    • Re: Damage from neighbor's trampoline

      Yes. From what you describe, your neighbor is responsible. I've heard of lawyers jumping through hoops for a client, but jumping on a trampoline is a new one for me. Give him a copy of the bill, and ask for payment. If he doesn't pay, then small claims court is your only option to recover the money. The damage is probably just above his insurance deductible, so your neighbor won't want to report it.

      Robert F. Cohen
      Law Office of Robert F. Cohen
      P.O. Box 15896
      San Francisco, CA 94115-0896
    • Re: Damage from neighbor's trampoline

      I'd say you have a valid claim, provided that the trampoline actually caused the damage. Try to show the damage to your neighbor; he may not resist paying once he sees it. If he still isn't willing to pay you can take him to small claims court. Don't let the fact that he's a lawyer intimidate you; it seems you have a strong case, and any dispute will probably be about the facts and not the law.

      Edward Hoffman
      Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
      6171 West Century Boulevard, Suite 200
      Los Angeles, CA 90045
    • Re: Damage from neighbor's trampoline

      Kindly request that your neighbor pay for your damage. If he refuses to pay for the damage to your car, take him to small claims court.

      David Lupoff
      Law Offices of David B. Lupoff
      15915 Ventura Blvd. Penthouse 4
      Encino, CA 91436