KATY, Texas - The mother of a 5-year-old said she wishes her son didn't have to go through the pain he's been through recently.
“I was angry. I was very upset. I was sad that my little boy who is so rambunctious and loves to run around and climb on everything had his leg broken and it wasn’t from anything that he did,” said Christina Weeks about her son Wyatt.
She said on Nov. 10 she took her kids to Jumpstreet Trampoline Park at Katy Mills Mall because it was raining that day.
“We were there for under 10 minutes when it happened,” Weeks said. “There was an adult who was doing flips and he did multiple flips and landed on Wyatt.”
Weeks said her son started screaming and crying.
“It was very scary and in that moment I should have thought to make sure I got the information, but I didn’t necessarily think that I had to, because if something happened then the place would have helped me do that,” said Weeks, who was expecting them to complete an incident report.
“They gave me a zip-lock baggie of ice, they offered him apple juice and when we were about to leave they gave me a free hour of jump time. I would have liked them to gather information of this man, I would have liked them to of recognized the fact that he was not following the rules of the facility, the rules of the facility was not being enforced by their employees and to apologize.”
Weeks said the man did apologize, but then left with the group he was with.
“If I were there, and I were to have landed on another person’s child I would give them my contact information and I would want to know how the kid is, I would also offer them some compensation,” Weeks said.
She said she took her son to Urgent Care the next day at Texas Children’s and days later received the X-ray results which showed he fractured his tibia.
“My biggest thing was just the anger of feeling like I had absolutely no way of having somebody be responsible for what happened to him,” Weeks said. “I don’t think that it's fair that my little guy has to be walking around like this and apparently, ‘Oh, well, that’s how it is, it’s an accident that happens.”
Weeks did sign a waiver.
“You have teenagers there not enforcing the rules and parents don’t expect things to happen, but it did happen and if their child is paralyzed or dies, they’re (the company) is not responsible. That’s not OK,” she said.
KPRC Channel 2 News reached out to Jumpstreet Trampoline Park through email, phone and in person, and is waiting to hear back.
TRAMPOLINE PARK REGULATIONS
In 2013, Max Menchaca, who was 16 at the time, suffered seizures and a traumatic brain injury after falling through a torn trampoline canvas at Cosmic Jump.
"When I got the phone call that my son was injured and they said he had a brain injury, that his skull was shattered and had three brain bleeds, I couldn't imagine how did that happen on a trampoline," Trace Menchaca, Max's mother said. "In our case, he fell through to the concrete below, so these things happen, but the safety standards weren't in place to prevent it and that's what all we're asking for -- is just a little bit of prevention so that hopefully these things don't continue to happen."
The now 21-year-old is in college at Sam Houston State University, but still faces challenges every day due to the injury. He could also see problems due to early dementia because of it.
In 2016, a Harris County jury awarded the family $11.5 million, which the family's attorney said they believed would send a message to the industry. But years later, Menchaca said she still hears stories from parents and is now working on legislation.
"This is certainly not what I wanted my life's work to be and after my son’'s accident, I wanted to let go and move on, but it seemed like every time I wanted to let go and move on, I would hear about another accident across the country," Menchaca said.
She said she does not want to regulate fun out of the industry, but is asking the trampoline parks to have a standard start of safety practices from the beginning.
Max's Law is in the draft stage and is supposed to go before the Texas legislature in January.
"That their equipment is brand new and put together right, that there are regular inspection of their equipment, that they have safety standards in place if somebody does get in an accident, that there's first aid available, that their staff is trained to know how to address a catastrophic accident," Menchaca said. "The trampoline industry, because it popped up so quickly, it just fell through the cracks, so we're just saying all we want is a very base level set of standards everyone can still have fun, still have a great time. These places are a lot of fun, but you know that the equipment is there, that the staff is trained in case of a catastrophe."
Menchaca said while she understands there is risk in everything people do daily, there should be safety standards in place.
"So when you sign a waiver you're signing a contract with the other party, with the assumption that they've done their part," Menchaca said. "What the problem is, that I get called all the time and people reach out to me all the time because these things are still happening and we really thought that our case would send a real message to the industry to clean up and get their act together. It's just really disheartening that they didn't do it iron their own and so now with the help of the Texas Legislature, and pan to take this to be a national bill, to make sure there's a standard set across the country."
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