Tag Archives: health club

Connecticut Court Relies on Reardon Ruling in Declaring Health Club Waiver Violates Public Policy

By Doyice Cotten

A woman was injured while working with a trainer employed by Planet Fitness. The trainer had lifted Butler onto a bosu balance ball and walked away. As she dismounted from the ball, she fell and suffered injury.

She filed suit claiming negligence; Planet Fitness countered with a liability waiver signed by the plaintiff as a defense. Part of the waiver language stated that the signer released Planet Fitness “from any responsibility or liability for any injury or damage to myself,

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.

Surprising Ruling in New Jersey Case

By Doyice Cotten

James Walters joined a YMCA and signed a membership agreement containing a waiver. About three years later, he suffered injury when he slipped on a step while walking to the YMCA pool – allegedly because the slip resistant rubber on the stairs was worn off the bottom step. The trial court granted summary judgment ruling that the waiver language protected the club against liability for negligence (Walters v. YMCA,

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.

DANGER: Exercise Balls

By Doyice Cotten

Exercise balls have become a staple in health clubs in recent years. They add fun and variety to exercising – but, watch out. While they look harmless, they have been involved in many accidents over the years when they burst and collapse, suddenly sending the patron to the floor with a thud.

The most publicized incident involving exercise balls involved Sacramento Kings and NBA player Francisco Garcia who was injured in October,

Health Club Case Sheds Light on Puerto Rico Waiver Law

By Doyice Cotten

Kelvin Lugo lost part of his index finger while returning a dumbbell to the rack as another dumbbell shifted and rolled onto his finger.  He sued alleging negligence on the part of Health Club of America (HCA). Among the defenses offered by HCA was the fact that Lugo had signed the following waiver intended to release the club from liability:

Millenium Fitness Management Urges all members to Obtain a physical examination From their physicians prior to the use of any exercise equipment or attendance in any exercise class .

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,

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.