Directors Of Trampoline Park In UK Face Jail After 11 People Fracture Backs
The trampoline park now operates under a different franchise after it was dissolved.
In a shocking incident, two former directors of a UK-based trampoline park face two years in jail following hundreds of incidents in just seven weeks that resulted in 11 people breaking their backs, as per a report in the Independent. The two bosses, David Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling, both aged 33, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences when they appeared at the court last om November.
When it first opened, managers of Flip Out Chester claimed that the "Tower Jump," which allowed visitors to jump from a 13-foot tower into a foam-filled pit, was the biggest of its kind across the globe. However, the severity of the injuries increased to such an extent that, between December 2016 and February 2017, the orthopaedic surgeons at the National Health Service in the UK opened an investigation after doctors at Accident and Emergency reported a surge in patients.
One of the patients, Sarah McManus, filed a legal case against the company in 2017 after she heard her "back crack". The 29-year-old woman told the outlet, "I landed it was just like someone had punched me in the stomach - it was awful pain. I couldn't breathe I couldn't talk and I did hear a crack. I followed the instructions on the sign and landed in the seated position as suggested, but when I hit the foam it felt like I'd been winded. I was barely able to breathe and couldn't shout for help, so I had to throw some of the foam sponges in the air to get attention. I was eventually fitted with a back brace that I wear daily and only remove to shower and sleep."
After her accident, three more people on the tower suffered serious injuries on the same day, which resulted in the removal of the tower by the trampoline park.
Lucy Jones also suffered a broken back in the park in 2017. The teenager who was aged 19 at the time of the incident was rushed to the hospital claiming she lost all feeling in her legs. "As I screamed in agony, my friends rushed over to help me. I landed in a seating position, as we'd been told to do. But, when I landed, I felt the worst pain I have ever been through in my whole life. For a while, I couldn't breathe or feel anything," she said.
Chester Councillor Christine Warner, said last week, "Our Public Protection team always deal strongly with businesses who put residents or visitors to the borough at risk. This business had a total disregard for safety regulations. Injuries in this case included 11 fractured spines, as well as other serious injuries. Those injured on a daily basis included both adults and children."
The trampoline park now operates under a different franchise after it was dissolved. Talking about the accidents, they said, "The incidents relate to a specific piece of equipment that was immediately closed. Our systems and procedures have evolved significantly since."