According to New Jersey news sources, a father has just filed a lawsuit against the owners of an indoor bounce house center. Earlier this year, while 3-year old Daniel was celebrating his birthday, he fell out of a bounce house. The fall caused the child to break his leg. According to the families attorney, Daniel now walks with a limp.
The lawsuit claims that the Indoor Center is at fault due to: “improper supervision, lack of proper control, overcrowding & failure to properly maintain a bounce house.”. The lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages for “the loss of services of his son, including guidance, companionship, assistance, household services and society”.
This lawsuit is just one of many examples why it is essential for businesses to have liability insurance. Think you don’t need insurance because your waiver will protect you? Not the case…even if your waiver does keep you from paying out on a lawsuit, you will still have to pay attorney fees to defend yourself. Also, waivers do not offer absolute protection. Lawyers are great at finding loopholes in the waiver wording.
An example of this is a case in 2010 where the court ruled that the involved Bounce House company could not hold the parent’s to a waiver that they signed to not hold the company responsible for injuries. The court ruled that the waiver was invalid stating:
“A guardian, including a parent, cannot contractually bind his minor ward,” Justice Robert Young Jr. wrote in the majority opinion.”Moreover, under the common law, minors are generally protected by the placement of greater burdens and increased potential liability on those coming into contact with minors. Thus, permitting the waiver of liability for negligent harm done to a child is inconsistent with public policy broadly recognized in the common law.” (Michigan Live)
We are not saying that waivers are useless, in fact we definitely recommend using them. It is just important to be aware that a waiver does not offer complete protection from a lawsuit.
NJ.com – True Jersey. “Dad sues after 3-year-old falls out of indoor bounce house, breaks leg | NJ.com“. December 5, 2016.
Michigan Live. “Supreme Court says parents can sue Bounce Party for 5-year-old’s broken leg“. June 18, 2010.