Trampoline Park Releases Are Typically Legitimate, Unless They Are Deemed Unclear (Ambiguous) Or Completely Unfair (Unconscionable)
Docket No.: A-2489-20
Decided December 6, 2021
Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
In a recent unpublished decision, the Appellate Division reviewed the legitimacy of an arbitration clause contained in an electronic document signed as a condition of entering a trampoline park.
In Johnson v. Sky Zone, on July 14, 2018, ten-year-old David and his mother visited the Park. Before they were permitted entry, however, a Park employee apprised Johnson she was required to sign a “Participation Agreement, Release and Assumption of Risk” (the Agreement) on an electronic tablet. On August 15, 2018, plaintiffs again visited the Park and, while jumping on a trampoline, David seriously injured his leg. The appellate record did not include evidence of whether Johnson executed a second waiver.
The Agreement is presented to the patrons at a kiosk in the form of an electronic document. The patrons are expected to read it and acknowledge their consent to be bound by the terms contained therein by placing an electronic “checkmark” and entering certain personally identifying information. Defendants argue David’s mother placed an electronic checkmark where indicated, and thus acknowledged she understood and agreed “to arbitrate any dispute as set forth in this section” and waived “[her] right, and the right(s) of [her] minor child(ren) . . . to maintain a lawsuit against [defendants] . . . for any and all claims covered by this Agreement.”
Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Sky Zone for injuries sustained by Johnson. Defendants moved to stay the proceedings pending arbitration, pursuant to the agreement. Plaintiff disputed the legitimacy, arguing it to be ambiguous and unconscionable. The Court disagreed, leading to Plaintiff appealing.
The Appellate Division affirmed the enforcement of the arbitration clause, finding that the agreement was very clear and unambiguous. What’s more it found no support for finding the agreement to be unconscionable. The agreement was enforced and the parties were to go to arbitration.
This case is important to understand the importance of releases. Releases are utilized in many recreational activities, including the trampoline park above. These are legitimate releases for the most part, unless they are deemed unclear (ambiguous) or completely unfair (unconscionable). Neither of these were found to be the case above, and the parties were ordered to arbitration.
If you or someone you know has been injured after signing a release, injured in a car accident, truck crash, or slip and fall, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hark & Hark today. For personal injury matters, no money is paid up front, and fees are only collected if a recovery is made. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County and any town including Audubon, Gloucester City, Oaklyn, Audubon Park, Gloucester Township, Pennsauken, Barrington ,Haddon Heights ,Pine Hill ,Bellmawr ,Haddon Township , Pine Valley, Berlin Borough, Haddonfield, Runnemede, Berlin Township, Hi-Nella, Somerdale, Brooklawn, Laurel Springs, Stratford, Camden, Lawnside, Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Lindenwold, Waterford, Chesilhurst, Magnolia, Winslow, Clementon, Merchantville, Woodlynne, Collingswood, Mt. Ephraim, and Gibbsboro.