Is my gym liable for my personal injury? 37 Answers as of November 06, 2012

Recently I was working out at the gym at my apartment when a piece of their equipment malfunctioned, due to lack of maintenance, and broke my two front teeth. These teeth cost me $4000 in dental work and lost time at work. The apartment acknowledges it was their fault (there was a camera in the gym and lots of pictures taken) but is trying to avoid reimbursing me for my dental work and lost time. They claim they are not liable because I signed a waiver saying that I work out at my own risk. My gym manager at my local community gym says this is false. That this only applies to you hurting yourself at your own doing. But if I am hurt because they failed to maintain their equipment, then they are at fault. Can I sue for my dental damages and lost work time?

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Law Office of William Justice Whitaker
Law Office of William Justice Whitaker | William J. Whitaker
The short answer is YES, the gym is liable if in fact it was their fault that the equipment broke and you did nothing to cause the accident. You cannot 'waive" negligence and the gym would most likely be held liable at trial if indeed it was their fault. I wold need more information before I could give you a complete legal analysis of your case. I would be happy to discuss this matter with you in greater detail and feel free to contact me at the number below or by email.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/15/2011
E. Ray Critchett, LLC
E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
Based on the information you provided, I would recommend calling an attorney to discuss your options. While certain disclaimers can limit a person's ability to recover for some injuries, the disclaimer you discussed may not be applicable to your injury. If you need any additional information, please feel free to send me an email. I wish you the best of luck with your case. Thank you.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/6/2012
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
You can sue but maybe there is med-pay coverage that avoids the issue of liability and the waiver.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 6/10/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Potentially. The waiver would not apply to wanton or intentional conduct. If you were to have an expert, perhaps from the other gym you mention, render an opinion that the condition of the equipment was such that the complex was wanton in their disregard for the likely injury to invitees, then you may very well prevail. Talk to a lawyer you trust. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/9/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
He's correct. A waiver doesn't give them an excuse for not maintaining their own equipment and they are liable if that's what caused your injury and expenses. Consult a local negligence or personal injury attorney. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    What a bad situation. I am so sorry that this happened. I would recommend that you at least speak with an attorney. There should be no charge. I wish you the best of luck & take care!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    The terms of the waiver may determine your success but if the equipment failed due to their negligence you may have a compensable injury.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Mitchell J. Howie
    Law Office of Mitchell J. Howie | Mitchell Howie
    You may have a claim against your apartment. It will depend on the waiver you signed and the particular facts of how the equipment malfunctioned. You can review some basic information about personal injury law on our website. Contact us if you have any further questions.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    I think your gym manager hit the nail on the head, they cant escape their own liability by use of a waiver. You have every right to pursue your claim, including filing a lawsuit if necessary. They may contest that the equipment malfunctioned due to a lack of maintenance or any other reason for which they are liable, but that is a fact question for a judge or jury.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Failure of proper maintenance is a basis for liability of course. You say they admitted it. curious they would admit such a thing. Do you have it in writing. Do you have an expert to testify about lack of maintenance? Careful with waivers. Careful what you sign. I don't know what you signed. You can be liable for what is called contributory negligence if you did anything carelessly or negligently (basically the same word) yourself. So sue the you-know-whats. Ask for your medical /dental bills, your wage loss and ask for $25000 or so for pain and suffering. Your personal injury lawyer will know what to do. Follow his adv ice.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    You can assume the risk of an activity but the owner's or managers have a duty not to commit negligence which would cause you injury. A lawyer would need to look at the release/waiver you initially signed. This not much different than rental of equipment for a dangerous activity such as skiing where the equipment is defective and causes injury. You probably can sue.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    David B. Sacks, P.A.
    David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
    if the Gym failed to maintain the equipment in a reasonably safe condition, and you did not cause your own injury by not being careful, then there is a good possibility that the gym would be liable for your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    If there was a malfunction of the equipment due to lack of proper maintenance then you should have a claim. There should be premise liability insurance on the building which would cover an injury such as this. You should be able to collect medical bills, lost wages, and some pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Assume Oregon law applies: A waiver does not apply to the negligence, so if the landlord was negligent in maintaining the equipment, then you may have a cause of action for your damages, medical/dental costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. The value of this lawsuit will depend on the evidence that you refer to as showing the negligent maintenance.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Aronberg & Aronberg, Personal Injury Law Firm
    Aronberg & Aronberg, Personal Injury Law Firm | David T. Aronberg
    Yes it is possible for you to have a case. What exactly went wrong with the equipment? Have you been in touch with your apartment complex? With their insurance company? You may want to talk to a lawyer PRIOR to talking to insurance company. Feel free to call me or email me.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    Yes you can. Malfunctioning equipment is not released when you sign that waiver.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Yes, I believe you can sue. Releases like the one you signed do not protect them from liability for their negligence. I would ask for the contact information from their insurance carrier.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    It seems to me that a failure to maintain their gym equipment would be considered negligent, so you should be able to sue them for whatever damages resulted from the injury.If you're suing a landlord, you are probably restricted to the one-year landlord-tenant statute of limitations.It sounds like your injury is fairly recent, so that shouldn't be a problem, but it's a factor you should keep in mind.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You can sue because they failed to maintain the equipment. If you injury yourself while using the equipment and it was properly maintained then there is no case. If you injury yourself because the equipment was not properly maintained then there is probably a case even with signed waiver.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Yes plus for your pain and suffering. The release should be looked at by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. They would be liable for your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Without seeing the waiver you signed it is difficult to advise whether you have a claim or not. Contact an attorney that provides free consultation to show a copy of the waiver, your photos and the medical/dental bills.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    I think your friend is probably right, but the answer depends on 1) the language of the waiver agreement you signed, and 2) the law of your particular jurisdiction. In Florida, a waiver that does not specifically release the apartment owner from its own negligence would likely not work to bar your claim. Some states have harsher rules, often passed under the guise of "tort reform," which is corporate code for taking away individual rights in favor of big corporations. In those jurisdictions, even a generic waiver agreement may bar your claim. You should have a lawyer in your area review the waiver you signed and compare it to the law of your jurisdiction, and he or she should be able to tell you whether you have a case. Most personal injury lawyers will give you a free initial consultation and will take your case on a contingency fee basis (they get paid only if you get paid) if they believe it is viable. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn
    Law Offices of H. Christopher Coburn | H. Christopher Coburn
    Based on your description of the facts I believe you have a case. You should be able to recover something for pain and suffering as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    You have presented a complicated personal injury fact scenario. It would be helpful to know where the accident happened as different states have different laws concerning these types of accidents. Virginia still adheres to the law of contributory negligence and this can be a problem in a case of this type. Of course, you can make a claim for your dental work and lost time, but more facts are needed to figure out liability issues. The waiver issue probably does not affect your claim as there is a responsibility to provide safe equipment. Of course, this assumes that the defect was not obvious and open.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You might have signed a waiver. However, the specific terms of the waiver would determine what your rights would be. You need to have the waiver examined by an attorney to determine if you in fact gave up your right to sue. Also, an attorney would help you present your claim the best way, to maximize your recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    Whether the waiver is valid will depend on the facts of your case and the language in the waiver. You have a serious case and should consult an attorney that specializes in personal injury. I suspect that after an attorney contacts the gym and/or their insurance carrier they will be changing their tune. At this point they are probably trying to brush you off to see if you will just go away without a fight.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Yes. You cannot waive claims for their negligence in advance. You still have a claim to pursue. Because some claims may fall under the Landlord-Tenant Act, it is critical that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible due to very short timelines for bringing a claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    Yes. You may also be able to recover pain and suffering and other damages as well. Please call to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You need to look at the waiver but it appears you may have a claim. you should consult with an attorney in your area to explore further.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    Yes you can. Either hire an attorney or sue in small claims court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You can. This shows how insurance companies will misrepresent the law to a claimant, hoping they will just go away.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Yes, you sure can. I would ask them for their liability insurance information, and you may be able to get reimbursed by their liability insurer without involving a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Under the facts you have given, yes, you probably have a viable claim against your landlord. Generally, waivers like the one you describe do not waive liability for a landlord's own negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
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