Judge Refuses Initial Settlement in Trampoline Accident Case

In July 2012, Kevin Stokes (five-years-old at the time of the incident) of County Dublin was playing on a trampoline when his leg became wedged in the gap between the base and the frame. He was immediately transported to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital to receive medical attention. X-rays were taken, and it was revealed that his fibula and tibia had fractured as a result of the accident.

The young boy was admitted to the hospital with a black slab cast surrounding his leg. After several days, the fractures were manipulated again and Kevin was fitted with an above-the-knee cast, which he had to wear for a month. He was discharged from hospital in a wheelchair, unable to walk himself.

When the month with the cast was complete, Kevin required a walking frame for several weeks. During this time, he was unable to play with his friends, and experienced severe discomfort in his leg. On behalf of her son, Margaret made a claim for compensation for injuries in a trampoline accident against Smyths Toy Store, where she had purchased the trampoline.

A forensic engineer was consulted to determine the cause of the accident. After an investigation, the forensic engineer stated that the mechanism for securing the safety club to the frame was in adequate for purpose. Smyths Toy Store admitted liability for Kevin’s accident. Compensation of €25,000 for injuries in a trampoline accident was negotiated on his behalf.

As Kevin was a minor at the time of the accident, the sum was brought before a judge for approval. Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard the case at the Circuit Court in Dublin. He refused the settlement, claiming it as too small of an amount considering the extent of Kevin’s injuries. Smyths Toy Store increased the offer to €35,000, which the judge approved. The judge heard that Kevin had recovered very well from his injuries.