Houston teenager who suffered traumatic brain injury in trampoline park accident awarded $11.5 million verdict

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by John Chapman

A jury in Texas has awarded a verdict of nearly $11.5 million to the family of a Houston teenager who suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident at a trampoline park. Max Menchaca suffered a fractured skull and other cranial injuries after falling at the Cosmic Jump indoor trampoline park in Houston.

Menchaca was visiting the Cosmic Jump trampoline park in 2013 when he fell through a torn trampoline. The boy landed on the concrete floor, fracturing his skull and causing a traumatic brain injury. Although Menchaca was able to graduate high school and attend college, his attorneys say that he still has problems with balance and abstract thinking. As he grows older, Menchaca may be at risk of early onset dementia due to his injuries.

At the trial in Harris County, Menchaca’s attorney presented evidence which showed that Cosmic Jump knew that there was a hole in one of its trampolines. However, despite this knowledge, the trampoline park did not close off the area of the park where Menchaca was later injured.

Following a two week trial, jurors awarded Menchaca and his family a verdict of about $11.5 million in their personal injury lawsuit against Cosmic Jump. The verdict included about $5.5 million in compensatory damages to cover future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity, as well as $6 million in punitive damages. Menchaca’s attorney said that the verdict was likely the largest damages award in U.S. legal history against a commercial trampoline park.

Indoor trampoline parks have become increasingly popular over the last decade. According to an estimate published by the International Association of Trampoline Parks, there were 345 indoor trampoline parks in the U.S. in 2014. The group wrote that it expected this number to increase by one-third by the end of 2015.

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