Gym Patrons Limited in Right to Sue for Injuries
Gym members- beware of what you sign! When the health club/gym contract includes wording such as “entirely at your own risks,” or “assume all risks,” you probably have released the gym from liability for your injuries. In a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision on August 6, 2010, the Court ruled that a gym or health club patron who has signed a membership contract that includes a waiver barring suit for injuries is prevented from suing and recovering monetary compensation for injuries suffered in the gym, absent reckless conduct or gross negligence of the club operators.
The Court’s decision in Stelluti v. Casapenn Enterprises,LLC , stems from a spinning class injury where the patron, while at a Powerhouse Gym, fell while spinning after her bike’s handlebars dislodged due to the absence of a pin as she stood on the bike’s pedals as instructed. Because the patron had signed a membership contract that included a waiver that she was exercising “entirely at your own risk,” the NJ Supreme Court ruled that she released the gym from liability.
So what does a health club patron do if one doesn’t like the gym contract? According to NJ Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, who wrote for the majority in Stelluti v. Casapenn Enterprises,LLC, try another club or make other arrangements to exercise. Unfortunately, if a club’s contract does not presently include language waiving one’s right to sue for injuries, you can be assured it will in the future based upon this ruling.
If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury, contact the Law Office of Todd B. Eder, at (732) 937-9100. With office in East Brunswick and , NJ, we offer statewide representation.
March 27, 2014