Tore ACL in bootcamp class...
(Nassau County, NY)
I joined a bootcamp type gym. My second week, second day the trainer had us outside doing exercises that included pushing his Jeep. While I was pushing with one other woman my knee kind of buckled, almost like a trick knee, but it didn't hurt and we continued pushing.
We went back into the gym and towards the end of the workout I was doing jump squats with weights and my knee popped out to the left and back in. The trainer had me sit there and bend it then walk. Told him I could feel it moving but not every time I took a step. The trainer right away told me I must have underlying issues, to which I replied I am 50 years old, so maybe, but I never had knee issues in my life.
Well by that night it swelled and really hurt. I went to the urgent care. They said it was a soft tissue injury BUT I had see an ortho doctor because I heard it and felt it pop out. I saw the orthopedic doctor and he said I had a torn ACL. The MRI is this week to confirm. And he is pretty sure surgery is in the future.
My question is, is there a lawsuit here? I told the gym the reason I was there was to get strong because I have an autistic son and my grandmother is 102 and I will be the one caring for my mom if she lives that long. The class is supposed to be all levels but they do treat us all the same. Do I have any recourse here? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Tore ACL in bootcamp class...":
Colette (Nassau County, NY):
Unfortunately, when you joined the Gym you very likely signed a membership contract. Within that contract is a clause that is contained in almost every fitness center/gym contract. It is referred to by several names, but basically the clauses have the same meaning. They indemnify the fitness centers from personal and property damage liability.
The indemnification clauses states if the fitness member becomes injured or sustains property damage on the property, the member fully relieves the fitness center from all liability.
Here's an example of a membership indemnification clause likely found in the contract you signed...
Use of the Gym, or of any of its equipment, shall be undertaken at the sole risk of the member. The Gym, and it's owner and employees, shall not be liable for any harm, personal injuries, or damage to personal property, even if such harm results from the negligence of the Gym, it's owners or any employees. By signing the contract, the Gym member agrees to hold harmless the Gym, it's owner and employees, from any injuries or resulting damage sustained by a member.
In addition, the Gym, it's owner and employees shall not be responsible for articles lost, damaged or stolen in, about or in connection with the Gym, or for loss or damage to any other of the member's personal property, including automobiles and their contents.
While the existence of gross negligence will in some instances overcome the indemnification clause, from the facts you present, there doesn't appear to have been any negligence which may have led to your injury.
Unfortunately, by the age of 50 our bodies aren't as strong as they were when we were much younger. As a result, injuries are simply more likely to occur under physical stress.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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