Understanding Pennsylvania Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Evans v. Fitness & Sports Club, LLC., 2016). This week we will look at Pennsylvania law and the ruling in the previous case. To review the facts:

On November 12, 2014, Patricia Evans was participating in a personal training session at LA Fitness with personal trainer Brandon McElwee. During the session, McElwee directed Evans to perform “suicide runs,” an activity that required Evans to repeatedly run forward to a weight and touch it and then run backward to the start line.

Careful Waiver Construction Results in Protection for a Tennessee YMCA

By Doyice Cotten

Sandra Gibson joined the Rutherford County YMCA and signed a liability waiver. At a later date, she was injured when she tripped on an allegedly uneven or cracked sidewalk about 20 feet from the entrance to the YMCA.

She filed suit alleging negligence by the YMCA. The trial court denied the YMCA’s motion for summary judgment. The YMCA appealed claiming protection from the waiver signed by Gibson. The waiver reads:

In consideration of gaining membership and/or being allowed to participate in the activities and programs of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee (“YMCA”) and to use its facilities (whether owned or leased),

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!

Moot Waiver and “Open and Obvious” Issue

By Doyice Cotten

This Ohio case involved a slip and fall in a puddle of water when Marie Daher was leaving the swimming pool area going down a hallway to the shower area. She sued Bally’s based on premises liability; she alleged Bally’s was negligent in maintaining its premises (Daher v. Bally’s Total Fitness, 2015). Bally’s claimed that the hazard was open and obvious and that plaintiff had waived liability for negligence.

Pennsylvania Court Rules that Membership Contract Waiver Protects Against Negligence: No Reckless Conduct Found

By Doyice Cotten

 Cornelius Lister was injured when a fight occurred on the Fitness International basketball court (Lister v. Fitness International, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45954).  He alleged that at least four men attacked him and that at least one of the men was not a member of the club. He claimed that the club was negligent in failing to adhere to club policies that provided that non-members could not use the basketball court.

California Inflatable Rock-Climbing Wall Case Rules on Waiver

By Doyice Cotten

California waiver law was addressed in a recent inflatable rock climbing wall case (Vinson v. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3380). The case is summarized here, but much more can be learned about California waiver law by reading the entire case

Robert Vinson was a member of the Paramount “Studio Club.” To be a member of the Club, he was required to complete an application and pay a fee.

Court Makes Clear the Texas Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Note: This is a common negligence suit in which the defendant claims protection from a waiver of liability. Seldom do courts describe state waiver law so clearly.

Kimberly Ramirez , while a member of 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc, slipped and fell when she stepped into a puddle of water on the floor (Ramirez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69451).

Waivers NOT Containing the Word “Negligence” Fail in 3 Recent New York State Cases

By Doyice Cotten

Some waivers protect; others fail to protect. There are many reasons waivers fall short of providing the protection intended by the provider.  Some reasons include gross negligence involved, violation of statutory duty, unequal bargaining power, unconscionable contract, no opportunity to bargain, employer/employee relationships and many more. Most common, however, is that the language used in the waiver was ambiguous.  Courts in most states specify that to be enforced, the waivers must clearly and unambiguously describe the intent of the two parties.

Waiver Terminology (Part III): Why the Waiver is Important!

By Doyice Cotten

This is Part III of this series on waiver terminology. This part is intended to impress upon the sport and recreation professional the value of waivers of liability.

Why all the fuss about waivers of liability? The following California case (Padilla v. The Sports Club Company, 2008 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8150) illustrates very clearly why recreation and sports entities should use waivers.

Situation

Belinda Padilla was a member of The Sports Club Company,