In a recent study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 73.5 percent of participants sustained an injury while doing CrossFit. The injury rate for CrossFitters is quite similar to those exercising at the gym.
It is important to take precautions while working out, and ensure that you do not injure yourself. Harm can occur due to equipment malfunction, not stretching, and poor cleaning.
Whichever the cause of your injury is, you may have a case. Here is more information regarding gym injuries, and what it may mean for you.
Like most companies, gyms have a responsibility to keep their premises safe. However, if you signed a liability waiver before registering for a gym membership, this may affect your lawsuit. Injury liability waivers attempt to limit equipment liability and possible employee negligence. Some injury liability waivers will even attempt to provide total immunity from potential lawsuits. These clauses may not hold up in court. Depending on what you have signed, your case can be strengthened or weakened.
If you have not yet registered for a membership, and are contemplating doing so, make sure to read over the contract before signing. It is important to know your rights.
In the N.J. Supreme Court ruling Stelluti v. Casapenn Enterprises, a precedent was established.
Gina Stelluti acquired a membership at the Powerhouse gym. She was injured within an hour while using a bicycle during a spin class. As she was instructed to stand on the pedals, the handlebars were detached, causing injuries to her neck and back due to her fall. Stelluti sued the gym for negligence.
The defendant argued that Stelluti had agreed to the terms of the agreement, the Waiver and Release Form. Among the various conditions stated in the form, the release of liability from “the sudden and unforeseen malfunctioning of any equipment” was listed. This clause was enough to protect the Powerhouse Gym.
The Supreme Court decided that Stelluti’s claim, which was that she did not read nor understand the contract, was insignificant. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled the gym not liable for injury after the signing of the waiver.
Winning your Case
In some cases, specific claims stated in liability waivers can have an impact, but it is rare. Most gym memberships do not grant full immunity from potential injuries, and gyms can be successfully sued for gross negligence.
There are two types of negligence when it comes to personal injury: ordinary negligence and gross negligence. Generally, ordinary negligence is the failure to act in a careful way with respect to the obligations that the individual or company has to secure the safety of others.
Gross negligence, on the other hand, refers to the conscious choice to dismiss the obligation that the individual or company owes to others. Liability waivers cannot protect from claims of gross negligence.
Companies are not allowed to intentionally harm their clientele. In addition, if a gym was warned, and did not listen, that may be gross negligence. If you can prove that your gym injury was a case of gross negligence, your case will have a much higher chance of winning.
It is safe to say that you must always take note of what you are signing when you get a gym membership. The liability waiver may be limited, but it can also impact your case if you were ever to have an injury.
If you have already been injured at a gym, the dedicated lawyers at Dezao Law can help you with your case. We have a team of dedicated, experienced, and aggressive attorneys, who are ready to fight for you today. Schedule a consultation now.