Needed: Risk Management in Ohio Health Club

By Doyice Cotten

In a recent case (Geczi v. Lifetime Fitness, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 2580), Jodi Geczi was injured when her treadmill began jerking violently. The case revealed some serious risk management deficiencies that can be easily avoided by health club management.

First, an employee told her he had known the treadmill was broken.

Second, a club manager told her that he had known the treadmill was malfunctioning the night before.

Waiver Cases: Health Clubs 4 Plaintiffs 0

Doyice Cotten summarizes four recent cases involving health clubs. The first three are appellate cases from Minnesota and the fourth is a New Jersey Supreme Court case. These cases re-emphasize the importance of unambiguous waivers. One might say that two of the three Minnesota cases involve gross negligence or willful and wanton actions, but the court did not agree. Actions resulting in injury are not often deemed grossly negligent, reckless, or willful and wanton by the courts. This high threshold further increases the value of well-written liability waivers.

Waiver Fails to Protect Sports club in a Trip and Fall Case

By JoAnn M. Eickhoff-Shemek, Ph.D., FACSM

Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida (USF) and is President of the Fitness Law Academy, LLC (www.fitnesslawacademy.com). This post originally appeared in the Fitness Law Academy Newsletter, Vol 1, Issue 4 (October, 2018). You may subscribe to the quarterly newsletter free of charge at www.fitnesslawacademy.com.

Case Brief: Crossing-Lyons v. Towns Sport International,

Club Thought it was Protected Against Negligent Emergency Care

By Doyice Cotten

All health clubs need a sound risk management program aimed at the prevention of injuries. Included in that program should also be the use of a comprehensive, broadly worded liability waiver – just in case the risk management program does not work perfectly. In the following case, Locke v. Life Time Fitness, Inc. (2014), we find that Illinois waiver law requires that a waiver be specific and put the client on notice of the risks faced.

Waiver and Signage Helps Protect an Illinois Gymnastics Club

By Doyice Cotten

A strong waiver written specifically for a particular sport business can help to protect the business against liability for negligence resulting in injuries. In Macias v. Naperville Gymnastics Club (2015), Kamil Macias paid ten dollars and signed a liability waiver in order to use the facility. While at the club, Macias observed clients landing in a foam jumping pit; he tried it and suffered a broken neck when he landed head first into the foam.

Club Polo: Do Relationships Prevent Lawsuits and Make Waivers Unnecessary?

By Corinna Charlton, Charlton Equine Law

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Corinna for this contribution to SportWaiver.com. She is an equine attorney in San Francisco. This article originally ran in her blog, http://ribbonsandredtape.blogspot.com/ on June  7, 2012.

“It’s the Friends that make us Nervous!”

My younger brother Collin (shown in the photo) is a polo superstar; he has gone to numerous interscholastic and intercollegiate national polo finals,

NJ Club Saved by Waiver

A patron’s fall off a stationary bike meets a court’s support of waiver protection for clubs.

By John T. Wolohan
This January, 2010, article written by John Wolohan illustrates the value of  an effective waiver when an injury occurs.

Why do courts in some jurisdictions fail to uphold waivers, while other courts will accept them in most cases? Often, the reason is a belief that waivers encourage a lack of care. As a result, a court will closely scrutinize and invalidate a waiver if it is found to violate public policy or is overly broad,

Cardiac Care in Clubs

This article by Doyice Cotten originally appeared in Fitness Management, but is as timely today as ever. Health, fitness, and recreation providers should have a plan in place for dealing with heart attacks and other serious incidents. Failure to do so can leave the provider liable.

Jerry Atcovitz suffered a heart attack while playing tennis at Gulph Mills Tennis Club in Pennsylvania.  He later filed suit against the club claiming that damage to his heart could have been mitigated if the club had utilized an automated external defibrillator (AED). 

Do the Waiver-signing Patron and the Sport Business Have Equal Bargaining Power?

By Doyice Cotten

In contract law, it is generally considered manifestly unfair if a stronger party has an advantage in bargaining power over a weaker party. Thus, a court may intervene by setting aside or modifying the contract to restore equity.

What effect does this have on liability waivers where one party (the provider) requires that the patron sign a waiver releasing the provider from liability in the event of an injury caused by the negligence of the provider?