A British woman is suing a trampoline park after breaking her back on one of their jumps—literally.
Lucy Jones, 19, went with friends to Flip Out Chester in Chester, England, on Jan. 29, 2017, after seeing the park advertised on Facebook.
“We decided to have a bit of a night out after Christmas,” Jones told the Mirror. “[And thought it] would be a fun thing for us to do.”
Jones suffers from anxiety, but she convinced herself that she was going to do the four-meter jump, called the Tower Jump, that ended in a pit of foam blocks.
She had worn the required socks that help with grip and had watched a mandatory safety video before getting on the trampolines.
Forcing herself to overcome her trepidation, Jones, of Northop, North Wales, drummed up her courage and took the leap.
She landed exactly as she was supposed to, she said, but something wasn’t right.
She felt a shooting pain in her back that took her breath away and she lost feeling in her legs.
“I felt the worst pain I have ever been through in my whole life,” she said. “For a while, I couldn’t breathe or feel anything.”
A Flip Out staff member rushed over and asked her what was wrong.
Lucy broke her back at a trampoline park. She spoke to @PA_Real_Life about her ordeal – and she's raising money to go to volunteer in Tanzania via @JustGiving https://t.co/KiueYnRVMO pic.twitter.com/G4mYmUu7Xh
— Anna Roberts (@journoannie) January 2, 2018
She was screaming in the pain, and the staff member called over another staffer to help.
“Then, without any warning, [the] two members of staff grabbed me by the arms and dragged me out of the pit on to a mat,” Jones recalled.
“My friends were saying, ‘She can’t move,’ and were trying to get them off me, but once out of the pit they then told me I would need to walk over to the first aid area.”
She started to question if she was overreacting when the staff, she alleges, refused to call for medical help, saying it was only a bruise.
Regarding safety, the website of the park states: “The staff are first aid trained and on site at all times to keep you and others safe.”
A friend did call an ambulance, and about an hour and a half later, she was on her way to the hospital, according to the Mirror.
It turns out she wasn’t overreacting. An X-ray revealed that she had broken her back—a vertebra in her back had been fractured and she had to have metal rods put into her back.
Woman broke her back jumping into foam pit at trampoline park https://t.co/mTQaJmm1ep
— Metro (@MetroUK) January 2, 2018
She said her first concern was about whether she could walk. Later, as she gained mobility, she became depressed about how much the accident had made her miss out on.
“I’d just started my dream job of being a dental nurse and there was so much I wanted to do. Even just going out with my friends, and wearing high heels, but instead I faced a long recovery needing constant physiotherapy,” she said.
She has contacted a law firm that plans to serve Flip Out Chester a notice of claim later this month.
And she’s not the only one—at least two other incidents on the Tower Jump have led to back injuries.
According to the Liverpool Echo, another nurse, who was coincidently also surnamed Jones, suffered a burst vertebra and had to have surgery after jumping from the same tower on Feb. 1. She is also taking legal action against Flip Out Chester.
Woman shatters spine at trampoline parkhttps://t.co/wkf0GWP5ZT
— Liverpool Echo (@LivEchonews) February 25, 2017
That same day, a man also suffered a spinal injury after jumping from the same tower, the Echo reported.
In a statement to the Mirror, a spokesperson for Flip Out UK said they have replaced the Tower Jump.
“Millions of people have visited Flip Out trampoline and adventure parks across the UK and we are proud of our safety record. Safety is our number one priority and we strive to ensure that everyone who visits can enjoy all of the activities in a safe environment.”
The spokesperson declined to comment specifically on the Jones’s case.
Flip Out Chester does make everyone sign a waiver before they start jumping “for insurance purposes,” their website says.