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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Family Sues Climbing Gym Over Alleged Injuries

What legal duties does a recreational climbing center have to its guests?

In a recent personal injury lawsuit filed against a Dallas-area recreational climbing facility, a father has alleged on behalf of his 7-year old son that the facility was exceptionally negligent in not only failing to supervise its youth guests, but in asking untrained parents attending a birthday party to make up for understaffing on the day in question. 

According to the complaint, a 7-year old was using the gym’s sliding equipment when he suddenly fell from the top of the apparatus to the hard floor below. As a result, the child suffered a severe break in the growth plate area of his elbow, requiring follow-up surgery and lifelong monitoring. According to the child’s father, the true extent of the damage will not be totally realized until he is full grown – and his attempts to reach an amicable settlement with the gym have proven futile over the past 12 months, prompting a civil lawsuit. 

Liability and risk at recreational climbing centers

The public facts of the lawsuit do not provide detail as to whether the parent was asked to sign a liability waiver prior to using the facility, however this practice is not uncommon in facilities such as the one involved here. Nonetheless, these waivers are typically met with scrutiny by Texas courts, particularly if the language is vague, difficult to understand, or ambiguous – leaving personal injury victims with the opportunity to seek redress in negligence even if a waiver was signed. 

If the facility did not ask the parties to sign a waiver, they are under a strict duty to provide adequate supervision, safe equipment, and proper warning signs in the proximity of danger. Here, the facts suggest that the facility not only failed to provide adequate supervision of child patrons, it required non-employee guests to supplement for short staffing – a measure which could undoubtedly lead to a finding of negligence. 

If you recently experienced an injury at a gym or recreational facility and would like to discuss your rights, please do not hesitate to contact the Dallas, Texas personal injury attorneys at the Sawicki Law Firm today: 888-468-8844. 

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