The kids club at our gym let my son climb up on something that he should not have been climbing on. My son jumped from this playhouse and broke his foot. We were not notified immediately after the incident happened.
The gym has acknowledged that they should not have let my son climb on the playhouse, and they should have called the parent immediately. They also should have notified the gym manager. None of this was done.
My son ended up with 2 compound metatarsal fractures and is now in a full leg cast. We are continuing to gather medical bills. Also, my 4-year-old son is not able to go to daycare after the accident, which causes additional hardship for us.
Do we have a case for compensation against the gym/kids club? How do we go about pursuing a claim? Thank you for any information you can give.
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
To answer your question we must consider two things:
First, was the kid’s club at your gym negligent? In other words, did the gym employees supervising the kids club fail in their duty to keep your son safe? Based on your questions, it appears that the answer is “Yes.”
I assume that the gym staffs the kids club with one or more employees to supervise the children. If so, then those employees would have had an obligation to make sure your son didn’t engage in any dangerous behavior. If the gym has acknowledged that your son shouldn’t have been allowed to climb on the playhouse, then that may be an admission of negligence.
A negligence claim also requires that the negligence caused the injury. If your son was injured in a fall from a playhouse on which he should not have been climbing, then you clearly can satisfy the causation requirement.
Another aspect of negligence involves the gym’s failure to immediately notify you of your son’s incident. It’s not clear from your question whether the employees of the gym knew that your son was injured and deliberately failed to inform you, or whether they simply failed to let you know that he had fallen from the playhouse.
Either way, the failure to immediately inform you of your son’s fall would give rise to a negligence claim only if that failure to inform you caused your son further injury.
If the gym’s failure to notify you did not result in additional harm to your son, then it was unwise of them to withhold the information, but you may not have a negligence claim based on that failure.
The second consideration is whether the gym has a defense to your claim. Florida, like most states, follows what’s known as comparative fault. Comparative fault looks at the negligence of the defendant and compares it to any negligence on the part of the plaintiff to determine whether the plaintiff can recover.
In this situation, however, your son cannot be negligent. Under Florida law, a child under the age of six is presumed to be incapable of committing any comparative negligence.
In other words, Florida considers a four-year-old child to lack the maturity necessary to appreciate the potential consequences of his actions. As such, the gym would not be able to defend itself by claiming that your son was at fault for his own injuries.
As with any claim, you have the right to pursue it on your own behalf. You could notify the gym in writing of your claim which would likely lead to you being contacted by the gym’s insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that a claim for a minor may have some different requirements than a claim for an adult.
Some states require that any settlement on behalf of a minor be approved by the court. Further, the claim for medical expenses may belong to you, the parents, while the claim for pain-and-suffering and any other aspects of the injury belong to your child.
These claims can get complicated. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation your son deserves.
Learn more here: Injuries in Gyms and Fitness Centers
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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