Tag Archives: health club

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.

Problem with Waiver Contained Within Membership Agreement

By Doyice Cotten

In Hinkal v. Gavin Pardoe & Gold’s Gym (2015), Melinda Hinkal was injured while a client of a Pennsylvania health club. She had signed a membership agreement containing a waiver of liability. While working with a personal trainer, she suffered a back injury and filed a negligence claim.

The major issue in the case was whether the waiver language was sufficiently conspicuous to be enforceable.

The Agreement

The Gold’s Gym membership agreement is printed on a single,

A Look at the Instructional Element of New York’s G.O.L. 5-326 Statute Prohibiting Certain Waivers of Liability

By Doyice Cotten

The rulings in three 2014 New York State cases ride on whether the purpose of the business or institution is primarily instructional or primarily recreational.

One-on-One Training Facility

In Kim v. Hanson (2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8187), the plaintiff was engaged in a personal training program under the supervision and instruction of the trainer when he suffered an injury. The injury occurred at a one-on-one training facility; the plaintiff had previously signed a waiver of liability.

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).