Many sport and recreation businesses are fearful of being sued. And those who aren’t, should be! Even if you use a waiver and have insurance, a lawsuit is bad news. You have a big headache that will drain your attention and your peace-of-mind. In addition, the process of defending a lawsuit usually lasts for several years. Even if you eventually win, you have had the worry and, often, an abundance of bad publicity. Financially, your insurance may not cover the claim,
This is the final part of a 5-part series of ways to reduce the risk of a lawsuit. This part focuses on guidelines dealing with the basic fundamentals of successful risk management. Each subject encompasses an immense amount of subject matter. See the sources cited for more information.
15. Know and Adhere to Industry Standards
Professionals are held to a standard of care that is deemed reasonable and any conduct that falls below that standard of care may leave the club liable for injuries or damages.
12. Reacting to a Crisis
A crisis is a major, unpredictable event that endangers property and/or lives and threatens to seriously harm an organization. Examples of crises in a health club might be a fire, tornado, roof collapse, explosion, terrorist situation, heart attack, or catastrophic accident. Two ways in which a crisis is distinguished from a mere accident is 1) the likelihood of significant media coverage (possibly negative) and 2) the magnitude of the damage (a broken bone vs.
8. Warning of Risks
Assumption of risk is one of the major defenses for clubs when sued by clients for injuries incurred. The effectiveness of this defense depends upon whether or not the client was aware of the risk – hence,
5. Establish a Complete Facility Inspection Program
The inspection program should be broad in scope, including several types of inspections. There should be a daily inspection. This does not have to be time consuming or detailed, but someone should take a few minutes before opening to walk through the facility with a brief checklist to see if there are any obvious hazards or problems visible.
The primary purpose of a risk management plan is not the avoidance of legal liability. Rather, it is the maintenance of a quality program; that is, one which deals reasonably and fairly with its clients or students and their families.
You can do many things to reduce the risk of a lawsuit in your fitness center. Here are some important first steps.
Many fitness center operators are fearful of being sued. And those who aren’t, should be! Even if you use a waiver and have insurance, a lawsuit is bad news. You have a big headache that will drain your attention and your peace-of-mind. In addition, the process of defending a lawsuit usually lasts for several years. Even if you eventually win, you have had the worry and, often, an abundance of bad publicity. Financially, your insurance may not cover the claim, and your rates will probably go up. All in all, it is better to avoid a suit in the first place. You can do many things to reduce the risk of an injury and a subsequent lawsuit in your fitness center.
How do I control risk in my sport related business? Get the facts about Risk Management. Risk management is an on-going process by which a business or corporate entity attempts to control the programmatic and financial risks in order to reduce costs, enable desirable programming, and provide financial stability.
You should be able to identify the risks facing your facility. The question is, what do you do about a risk once it is identified? Whether it be a property exposure, liability for negligence or otherwise, or regarding business operations, management must determine the extent of the risk by examining the following: 1) its potential severity (possible impact on the corporation functioning and possible seriousness of a resulting injury), and 2) the likelihood of the risk or injury occurring. After determining the extent of the risk, four control approaches are available.
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.