A lawsuit filed in New York State is drawing attention to the liability that might be incurred by a gym or other organization providing exercise equipment and classes. The filing by a Mount Vernon woman alleges that she was injured when other members of her workout group rolled a heavy tire onto her ankle.
Most gyms require a person to sign a contract which stipulates the rules of using the premises and attempts to protect the property owners and business against lawsuits resulting from injury during exercise. In most cases, these contracts are sufficient to prevent a lawsuit from progressing. But in some cases, the gym may still be held responsible for injuries, particularly if those injuries are caused by:
- Substandard and dangerous equipment due to deferred maintenance, particularly if there is a history of complaints about a particular machine
- Failure to comply with legal requirements regarding leaving proper space and keeping walkways free of hazards
- Allowing instructors to use techniques known to carry high risk of injury, particularly if those techniques do not have established efficacy for gaining strength or endurance
It is important to remember that contracts are not ironclad, particularly if gross negligence occurs. The contract is only enforceable if both sides are following through on their commitments. If a business willfully fails to provide a safe space for exercise, they can be held responsible for the dangers on their premises.
If you or someone you love has been injured while frequenting a business, be it a gym or a retail store or any other environment, determining whether or not management or the property owners were responsible for the incident will likely require a thorough investigation. Please reach out to an experienced attorney to have your case evaluated.