CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte man who says he injured his neck at a Pineville trampoline park says it is too dangerous and may join the list of others across the country who are suing the company.
Earlier this week more than a dozen people in the Seattle area filed lawsuits against Sky High Sports, which has 16 locations across the United States, including a 40,000-square foot location in Pineville.
On March 4, Fernando Casarrubias claims he broke a vertebrae in his neck while doing a back flip at the trampoline park in Pineville. Casarrubias, who owns the Manhattan Bagel restaurant at The Arboretum, said he has not been to work since and still wears a neck brace. He and his two daughters witnessed two other people get injured on the same day he hurt his neck, and now he is considering suing the company because the risks are not clear enough.
“I don’t want to hurt a business, but I think it’s a very unsafe place for kids and adults,” Casarrubias said. “I’m still thinking about (suing).”
The Seattle-area lawsuit claims folks were injured while jumping in unsafe conditions. The parents allege that Sky High is negligent and fails to follow even the most basic safety measures to protect its guests.
"We didn't do anything wrong," said Sky High Sports co-owner Jerry Raymond when asked about the Washington state lawsuits. "I think we've had over 1 million kids come through our facilities. They get exercise and they play. They don't talk about how good that is. They only talk about how people get hurt there.”
Raymond does admit there are risks associated with the trampoline parks. Visitors are required to sign a waiver to use the trampolines, something the Casarrubias family did.
"If you wouldn't let your kids play football then don't let them jump on a trampoline," Raymond added. "But we've done all we can to limit the incidents and opportunities to get hurt."
Raymond said the lawsuits are ridiculous.
But Casarrubias, 41, believes the company needs to take more responsibility. He points to the oversight in the restaurant industry where local health departments oversee and grade conditions at businesses on a monthly basis.
“I think there are not enough labels that say it’s a risky place,” Casarrubias added. “Basically they made you sign a waiver where they are not responsible for anything…Here, it’s just start jumping around other kids and other people.”
Casarrubias said his family had a trampoline at their home for 12 years, but he will not take his family to the trampoline park again. He has an appointment in five weeks to determine if he is cleared to go back to work.