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Foam Pits: When Something Goes Terribly Wrong

Posted on February 19, 2019
Foam Pits: When Something Goes Terribly Wrong

Foam pits are filled with polyurethane foam blocks that are intended to provide a soft and safe landing for adults and children alike, but unfortunately, they aren’t invulnerable to accidents resulting in severe injury. In extreme cases, they’ve even resulted in patrons’ deaths. When foam pits are unsafe and someone is injured, manufacturers, suppliers, and entertainment companies can be held liable.

What Can Go Wrong in a Foam Pit

Severe injuries can occur when patrons jump or flip into foam pits containing polyurethane blocks. Victims have sustained permanent foam pit injuries after hitting their heads or breaking their vertebrae by landing on unprotected edges and other hard surfaces.

In the event of injury, negligent parties may be responsible if the foam pit is found to be poorly maintained, defective, improperly supported, or incorrectly installed.

Injury lawsuits may stem from:

  • Staff’s failure to provide sufficient safeguards and supervision.
  • Failure to provide instructions or visible warnings regarding the foam pit’s use and hazards.
  • An inadequate amount of polyurethane foam in the pit to provide cushioning.
  • No net beneath the blocks with more reinforcing foam beneath it.
  • Failure to use high-density foam.
  • Poor design resulting in contact with the ground, legs, or frame of the pit when landing.

Other Types of Safety Issues

Other issues with foam pits that resulted in serious injury or death have included a lack of proper emergency procedures, insufficient staff training, the lack of presence of employees over the age of 18, and the condition of the foam pits.

Foam pits require maintenance to keep them in ideal condition. Facilities that fail to inspect and replace foam over time will expose patrons to material that can’t provide the support they need. Raw foam also tends to break down over time. Regular inspection and replacement of foam blocks are necessary to prevent injury.

Liability for Foam Pit Accidents

While there are no federal standards that regulate foam pit businesses and indoor trampoline parks, these companies can still be held liable for injuries when they fail to take steps to keep their patrons safe. Even when guests sign a waiver of liability, businesses can be found negligent when they fail to provide safe equipment or adequate supervision.