Mass. high court orders new trial in lawsuit of man paralyzed after trampolining into Framingham pool

The state’s highest court has ordered a new trial in a lawsuit brought against two property owners by a man who was paralyzed when he jumped from a trampoline into a backyard wading pool in Framingham.

Cleber Coleta Dos Santos had unsuccessfully sued Maria A. and Jose T. Coleta, who owned the Framingham home and set up the trampoline next to the pool. On Aug. 2, 2005. Dos Santos decided to entertain his son by flipping from the trampoline into the two-foot-deep, inflatable pool. He hit his head on the bottom and is now paralyzed from the chest down, the Supreme Judicial Court said.

The court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Robert Cordy, said, “a landowner has a duty to remedy an open and obvious danger, where he has created and maintained that danger with the knowledge that lawful entrants would (and did) choose to encounter it despite the obvious risk of doing so.”

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Jose Coleta “knew that the pool warned against jumping of any kind and he knew that the setup was dangerous but proceeded with the setup because he thought it would be ‘fun,’” the opinion said.

“Given the shallow depth of the water, there was no reliably safe way to propel oneself from the trampoline into the pool,” the court said. “The defendants knew that it was unsafe to do so and, therefore, could or should have anticipated injuries resulting from this activity.”