Monday, January 31, 2022

ADR Provision in Trampoline Park's Participation Agreement Upheld But Not Provision for Attorney's Fees

In the case of Wearing v. Lyon Tamer, LLC, d/b/a Defy Scranton, No. 20-CV-233 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Jan. 24, 2022 Nealon, J.), the court addressed the validity of an alternative dispute resolution clause contained in a participation agreement signed by the Plaintiff’s mother when the Plaintiff went to the Defendant’s trampoline park.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff filed this negligence action against a trampoline park operator for injuries suffered by the Plaintiff while using a trampoline as a minor allegedly without any supervision or oversight.

The Defendant trampoline park operator filed Preliminary Objections. 

With the Preliminary Objections, the Defendant sought to stay this litigation and compel the Plaintiff to submit to mediation and non-binding arbitration in compliance with the participation agreement executed by the Plaintiff’s mother as a condition for the minor to enter and use the trampoline park. 

The Defendant also sought to recover counsel fees and costs under a separate provision in the participation agreement which allowed the Defendant to recover such damages “to the extent permitted by law” in seeking to enforce the mediation and non-binding arbitration provision.

Judge Terrence R. Nealon
Lackawanna County

After reviewing the law of Pennsylvania regarding such agreements and applying the law to the terms of the participation agreement before him, Judge Nealon granted the Preliminary Objections seeking a stay of the tort action given that there was a valid agreement of the parties to participate in alternative dispute resolution. 

However, the court denied the request for attorneys’ fees and costs after finding that the provision in the participation agreement in this regard was unreasonably favorable to the trampoline park operator whose customers had no meaningful choice regarding the acceptance of that provision. The court found that that provision was unenforceable in this regard only due to this procedural and substantive unconscionability.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source:  Photo by Matheus Costa on

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