You may have heard the expression of “jumping into the new year.” Landon Smith, 19, of the Edmonton area, started the new year in 2017 by literally jumping.
He was at a birthday party in January 2017 that was being held at a trampoline park. He never walked out and definitely wasn’t jumping out of the building at the end of the party.
Smith front-flipped into the foam pit. The foam pieces didn’t break his fall.
He told CTV Edmonton, “I jumped in and it was almost like someone took cymbals and clapped on either side of my head. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move.”
Smith’s body had hit the concrete floor under the foam. The thought of dying crossed his mind.
He wasn’t actually dying, but he did suffer from a C5 burst fracture, which meant a bone in his neck was fractured. His spinal cord was injured, and the consequences were devastating.
When it happened, his friends thought he was joking when he didn’t emerge out from under the foam pieces. He wasn’t hiding for fun but was paralyzed from the chest down.
Approximately five to ten minutes passed before he was found. An emergency crew had to move him out of the pit.
He was taken to the hospital where he learned the extent of his injury. His dream of being a firefighter was crushed.
Smith’s eyes are now set on regaining the ability to walk, though he’s been warned not to get his hopes up.
Smith is determined to move forward in his recovery and prove everybody who doesn’t think he’ll walk again wrong.
For Smith and his parents, part of moving forward included looking back at the incident. They have filed a $17.1 million lawsuit against the owners of Jump Park Trampoline, the foam pit supplier, the installer, and four trampoline park employees including a manager, supervisor, and two employees.
“There were no warning signs or indication that Landon could expect anything but a soft landing. Instead, it was a concrete trap — the impact of which devastatingly and permanently changed his and his family’s lives,” claims the family in a statement, according to CBC News.
Much of the sought $17 million would be to cover the cost of Smith’s loss of past and future income, his past and future care, loss of earning capacity, and loss of enjoyment for life. It would also be for his pain and suffering.
The defendants confirmed Smith had an accident at the trampoline park on the day it occurred, but also claimed an electronic waiver was signed by Smith.
Smith may not be able to control the outcome of the lawsuit or go back in time to change what happened, but he does hope to control his legs again one day.
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