Archive for the ‘Products Liability’ Category

On the Rebound

July 10, 2007

Lykins v. Fun Spot Trampolines (Ohio)
(Woman Falls From Trampoline; Court Holds Risk of “Double Bounce” and Risk of More Than 225 Pound on Trampoline Not Open and Obvious, Not Assumed)

The plaintiff was invited to an annual Fourth of July party, and she was injured when she fell from a trampoline. The defendant property owners (the Thompsons) had hosted a similar party for many years and had purchased a trampoline, which they had allowed party guests to use over the years. The plaintiff used the trampoline at the annual party for five consecutive years from 1995 through 2000. On the day of the incident, she was standing on the perimeter of the trampoline while another adult guest was jumping in the middle. At some point, the plaintiff (who has consumed a limited amount of alcohol) lost her balance, fell on her back, and suffered a broken neck and a crushed spinal cord, rendering her a quadriplegic.

Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the trampoline for strict products liability and against the Thompsons for negligence. Thereafter, the defendants filed motions for summary judgment, which were granted by the trial court. As to the manufacturer, the court held that the dangers presented by the subject trampoline were open and obvious and a matter of common knowledge. With regard to the Thompsons, the court also ruled that the dangers associated with trampoline use were open and obvious such that plaintiff was owed no duty. The court further found that plaintiff assumed the inherent risks associated with use of the trampoline and that the record did not support a finding of recklessness on the part of the Thompsons to impose liability upon them. The plaintiff appealed the rulings.