Many people suffer injuries at the gym. Maine gym injuries can range from mild, such as pulling a muscle, to more serious injuries causing lifelong disabilities. These injuries can have serious consequences and can result in long-lasting financial, physical, and psychological damages. Individuals who suffer injuries at a Maine gym, yoga studio, fitness club or CrossFit club should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and potential remedies.
Before becoming a member, gyms often require individuals to sign a liability waiver. Waivers typically favor the gym and serve to protect the gym’s financial interest and general reputation. Many Maine fitness clubs do not allow members to join unless they sign a liability waiver; however, these waivers do not always bar lawsuits against the facility. The first step an injury victim should take is evaluating what type of waiver they originally signed. The three most common waivers in gym contracts are total waivers, waivers for negligence, and waiver of liability for intentional acts. These waivers provide different levels of protection to the gym, but each waiver and case is unique, and injury plaintiffs may still be able to hold the gym liable.
For example, recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion stemming from injuries a woman suffered while using a weight machine at the gym. The woman filed a lawsuit against a personal trainer at the gym, alleging that the trainer improperly instructed her on how to use the machine. The trial court found in favor of the defendant, reasoning that the woman signed a waiver releasing the gym and their agents from liability. The woman appealed the ruling and asked for reconsideration based on several issues. The appellate court found that there are issues surrounding whether there was an agency relationship between the personal trainer and the gym. Further, the court found that there were issues regarding whether the membership agreement and waiver extended protection to the personal trainer. Ultimately, the court found in favor of the plaintiff and remanded the case for further proceedings.