Going to the gym is nothing new, but being active has been a trend for a few years now. Some will jog or use their own treadmill to stay active, but most will frequent gyms like LA Fitness. The great thing about gyms like these is the option to work out with a personal trainer. However, for every membership, there are pages of legal paperwork that you have to sign.
Usually, we think just to skip over this and sign away, but this is exactly what caused Patricia Evans to lose her personal injury case against LA Fitness. When signing up for a membership, the legal work normally includes documents like membership agreement, personal training agreement, and a release of liability. The release of liability page states something along the lines of acknowledging that you read the terms and assumption of risk. No business ever wants someone to get hurt on their premises, but they still need to have an action plan in case something does happen and in this case, it was their release of liability.
While working out with her personal trainer, Evans fell while she was sprinting and performing “suicide runs.” Evans fractured both of her wrists after trying to catch herself from her fall, which also resulted in nerve damage after the healing. Evans claims that she fell after her trainer continued to tell her to go faster. However, one of the biggest holes in her case was that she was not forced to exercise and when exercising it is at her own risk.
In this case, the wording would have also been crucial to her outcome because they could have tried to go after things like negligence on the trainer’s part or faulty equipment. Again, their release of liability and all other papers will spell out exactly what they are protected from. There have been other cases where businesses did not have the essential clauses in their contracts, which usually results in the defendant winning the case.
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