Trampoline and Bouncy Castle Personal Injury Claims 24 Oct 2015

It has recently been reported in the insurance industry that claims relating to children being injured having fun on trampolines and bouncy castles are on the increase. Many parents are unaware that if a child is injured while playing on a trampoline on their own on their property, they can potentially be sued for personal injury loss and damage caused. It is been reported that 59% of people are not aware that they are at risk of being sued.

Apparently in the last 12 months alone, 3.9 million people have a child who has sustained a personal injury while on their property playing on a trampoline or bouncy castle. Statistically this is 1 in 10 personal injury cases according to data.  Direct Line has said that 1 in 5 of these reported cases related to children aged 6, closely followed by 5 and 7 year olds.

Supervision of children when playing on trampolines or bouncy castles is essential to prevent injuries happening in the first place. However, even with supervision accidents can occur and it is reported that in 4 out of the 5 cases reported the injured children were being supervised.

In 2008, Timothy Perry and his wife Catherine were sued by Janet Harris and her son, Sam. Sam was injured on a trampoline at Mr & Mrs Perry’s triplets 10th birthday party. Sam was 11 years of age at the time of the accident and he was left with a brain injury after he saw the bouncy castle in a playing field in Strood, near Rochester, Kent and he asked Mrs Perry if he and another boy aged 15 could have a go on the trampoline. Mrs Perry told the court she said ‘No’ to the request but the court then accepted evidence that she had agreed to the boys going on the bouncy castle.

Sam was injured while on the bouncy castle when a much taller 15-year-old boy’s heel caught the left side of his head.

The court also heard  ‘that the hire company which provided the bouncy castle recommended it was supervised at all times, that children of different ages should not be allowed on together and that somersaults should be banned’.

Judge David Steel said: “Largely as a consequence of insufficient allowance being made for the demands of operating two items of equipment, I conclude that the level of supervision of the bouncy castle was inadequate.”

“A spokesperson at the British Inflatable Hirers Alliance said: ‘Although I am not surprised at this ruling, it demonstrates the culture of blame we are living in. Given the facts, this appeared to be a tragic accident.

“Bouncy castles are extremely safe to play on, providing that they are correctly supervised at all times.”

Parents should be aware of potential claims against them if they do not take care of the children they invite to play on bouncy castles or trampolines in their own garden. It seems ludicrous to suggest insurance be taken out to protect parents from having to pay out claims that are successfully brought against them. Checking home contents insurance policies may now be the way forward to ensure adequate insurance provisions are in place in so far as litigation is potentially an option for any one injured while playing with your children in your own back garden.

To speak with a member of our Personal Injury Team about a potential claim you can call us on 020 7485 8811 or fill in our online enquiry.

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