Bad Judgment by Personal Trainer Causes Lawsuit

By Doyice Cotten

Many things can cause accidents in a health club – and a negligence suit is sometimes the result. Causes include equipment failure, slick floor surface, inattention of the personal trainer, carelessness by the client, and many more. In the case addressed here, the cause was largely due to the faulty judgment of the personal trainer. The following describes the events leading up to the injury of Patricia Evans in a Pennsylvania health club:

On November 12,

Personal Trainer Suit Illustrates the Need for Risk Management Training

By Doyice Cotten

It is easy to find mistakes made by personal trainers. As their popularity increases, so do the lawsuits that pop up charging them with negligence. In a recent New York case (Baldi-Perry v. Kaifas, 2015), the personal trainer made a number of mistakes that led to a $1.4 million dollar award (minus 30% for comparative negligence). In the following discussion, personal trainers should note the mistakes made by Kaifas.

Causes of Personal Trainer Lawsuits — Part II

Part II – When an Injury Occurs

By Doyice Cotten
Regardless of how careful a personal trainer is, injuries will occur. And when the injury occurs, the question becomes “What do you do now?” Do you suddenly slip on your M.D. outfit and make a diagnosis and provide a cure? Do you panic? Or do you already have an emergency action plan and simply follow that plan? The following three cases will help you to know WHAT NOT TO DO!

Causes of Personal Trainer Lawsuits — Part I

Part I – Client Medical History

By Doyice Cotten

Personal trainers should guard against the temptation to try to help every potential client. The trainer should realize that 1) some potential clients pose a significant risk for the trainer; 2) the trainer’s knowledge, experience, and ability to prescribe safe exercises for some conditions are limited; and 3) that it may be better to sometimes tell the client that you do not feel confident in prescribing an exercise program for them.

Waivers Protect Georgia Health Club and Personal Trainer

 By Doyice Cotten

A man and his wife joined a gym, signing a total of 3 waivers of liability. He began working with a personal trainer and on the day he suffered a stroke, he took a food supplement (R.A.G.E.), which he had bought elsewhere, and did a workout with the trainer. He sued the gym alleging the workout was too vigorous and sued the drug manufacturer.

The first document he signed was a membership agreement with an exculpatory agreement within it:

“WAIVER AND RELEASE LIABILITY”:

The Club urges you and all members to obtain a physical examination from a doctor before using any exercise equipment or participating in any exercise class.

Waiver Law in Pennsylvania: Personal Trainer vs. Licensed Physical Therapist

By Doyice Cotten

A 2010 court ruling in Pennsylvania (Taylor v. L.A. Fitness International, 2010 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 252) illustrated a difference in the effectiveness of waivers depending upon who the relying party is. The plaintiff was injured while under the care of a personal trainer provided by L.A. Fitness. She alleged that the trainer taught her an improper exercise, failed to properly assist or sport her, and that his negligence caused her shoulder injury.

CPR and AED Trained Athletic Trainers Save Two Collapsed Athletes

By Doyice Cotten

Are you prepared for an emergency at your sport, recreation or fitness facility? If a participant collapses during a workout and has no heartbeat, does someone at your facility know what to do? Do you have personnel trained in CPR? Do you have an AED on hand? And someone who in trained to use it? These are all important questions for management at sport, recreation, and fitness facilities. None of us want to stand by and watch someone die who could have been saved!

Do Your Certification Homework

Your certification requirements should go beyond taking an employee’s word for it. Research the certifying organization and make a paper trail to help avoid client injury and litigation.

Ask, “Are the actions of my personal trainers going to land me in a lawsuit?” Client Anne Capati thought the personal trainer she hired at Crunch Gym in New York, N.Y., was an expert. However, she suffered a brain hemorrhage and subsequently died as a result of his recommendations. Her husband, Doug Hanson, filed a lawsuit that has created a stir in the industry.

Developing a ‘Safety Training Grid’

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, McGregor & Associates

I am pleased to be able to bring you this article by Ian McGregor, a well-known leader, professional, and consultant in the Risk Management field. Dr. McGregor is a true expert in the field. Here Ian tackles a real problem facing sport, recreation, and fitness managers — training employees.  For more information, Dr. McGregor can be contacted at [email protected]. We are pleased that we will be able to occasionally post more risk management articles from SportRisk,

Getting Fit Fast?  . . . CAUTION: RHABDOMYOLYSIS ALERT

By Doyice Cotten

What is Rhabdomyolysis? Regular readers of SportWaiver.com will know that this is a disease that can result from extreme exercise. The ailment is often found in sedentary adults who attempt to “get in shape” overnight. However, the disease is also found sometimes in more active and younger individuals.

There have been a number of cases in recent years in which college athletes have been afflicted. Courtney Cameron in a recent AthleticBusiness.com post cites a number of cases resulting from indoor cycling and spinning classes.