Have you suffered an injury while exercising at the gym where you spend many hours and thousands of dollars on your membership? Just like any other New Jersey business, gym owners must protect patrons from suffering injuries. Sadly, that is not always the case, and you may not be aware that there are many other victims of gym injuries.
Are you unsure about your right to seek recovery of damages? You may have questions about the gym’s liability for your injuries. This is a complicated field of the law, and several factors will come into play.
Did you sign a waiver?
When you join a gym, one of the membership requirements will likely be the signing of a liability waiver. That might be the first obstacle in your pursuit of damage recovery in a lawsuit. The terms and language of the waiver will determine the scope for a potential claim.
Some waivers protect gym owners only against claims of employee or gym negligence while some try to provide gym owners with total immunity. If the waiver you signed limits the gym’s liability for injuries that involve equipment, you will have to determine whether negligent equipment maintenance or defective equipment caused your injury — and whether the gym owner was aware of the situation.
Treadmills and other gym equipment can be life-threatening if they have design or manufacturing defects. This risk also applies where the necessary warnings are absent. While the manufacturers must ensure that the products are safe to use, gym owners must make sure that members use equipment appropriately and safely. If you want to file a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the piece of gym equipment that caused your injury, you will have to examine the following aspects:
- Design defects: Can you show that a flawed design made the apparatus unreasonably dangerous?
- Manufacturing defects: Was the equipment manufactured in a way that departs from the intended design?
- Warning defects: Was the equipment rendered unreasonably hazardous by the lack of adequate warnings or operating instructions?
- Owner’s awareness: While the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable for product defects, the gym owner may be liable for premises liability if you can show that he or she was aware of the dangerous or defective equipment and failed to have it repaired or fixed.
The intricacies of your legal claim may complicate the process of pursuing recovery for damages. However, you may retain legal counsel who is experienced in this field of the law to navigate the premises liability lawsuit on your behalf.