Idaho Supreme Court will not rehear case on teen who broke neck at trampoline center

Children jump on a trampoline at JumpTime’s Downtown Boise center in 2013.
Children jump on a trampoline at JumpTime’s Downtown Boise center in 2013. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

Last month, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against a Meridian indoor trampoline center by a teenager who broke his neck attempting a difficult flip. The teen then made one last plea to the state’s highest court to reconsider its decision.

Seth Griffith’s attorney, Eric Clark, of Eagle, petitioned the court to rehear the case. Clark said the court’s April 10 opinion did not fully consider that JumpTime had violated its own policies by allowing Griffith, a minor, into the center without a parental consent form, and by its employees’ failure to enforce Jumptime’s own safety rules requiring feet-first landings.

The court on Tuesday, May 9, denied Griffith’s request without saying why.

“From a legal standpoint, the case has concluded,” Clark told the Idaho Statesman.

On Jan. 11, 2014, 17-year-old Seth Griffith, of Boise, landed on his head and neck after a triple front flip off a trampoline into a pit filled with foam blocks at JumpTime Meridian. In a triple front flip, a jumper rotates forward three times in the air before landing.

Griffith had been successfully landing double flips on his back because he thought it was safer than landing feet-first. When Griffith tried the triple flip, his third rotation fell short of a foot landing. He suffered a cervical dislocation and fracture, which required a fusion of two of his vertebrae, according to court documents.

In March 2015, Griffith sued JumpTime for personal injury, contending that because he was younger than 18, JumpTime had a duty to supervise him.

JumpTime, 1375 E. Fairview Ave., responded that several signs posted near the foam pits instruct customers to land on their feet, not their heads, necks or bellies. Also, Griffith did not tell the attendant he was going to try a triple flip.

Seth Griffith, now 20, has continuing neck pain and headaches but otherwise is doing well, his mother said: “He is walking, which is a miracle.”

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell