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“General Release” Does Not Protect Gym from Negligence Claims


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5/20/2013
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You were running late for Zumba class when you slipped on a wet floor at the gym. There were no warning signs posted. Instead of getting a good work out, you broke your wrist and injured your neck and back. You missed several weeks of work because of your injuries. Now you’re back at work, but you’ll be in physical therapy for a while. You’re scared to look at the medical bills.

You asked the gym manager about helping out. He said that you signed a general release when you became a member, so the gym is not liable. Are you out of luck?

No. Gyms ask you to sign a release because there is a lot of potential for injury at the gym. You may try to lift too much weight and strain a muscle, or you could injure yourself because you didn’t read the instructions and didn’t know how to use an exercise machine properly. The general release protects the gym if you don’t take the precautions that you should take to prevent injury. But, a general release cannot excuse a gym from liability when the gym’s negligence causes injury.

Slips and falls can occur on any slick surface, including wet floors in locker rooms, changing rooms, bathrooms, and near swimming pools. Gyms should place warning signs wherever there is the potential for a wet floor. They should place non-slip mats in those areas and install drainage systems to prevent water build-up. Shower rooms and pool areas should have raised, non-slip surfaces and grab bars to prevent falls. A staff member should check those areas regularly to make sure there is no danger to the public.

Many Sioux Falls gym slip-and-fall accidents are the result of negligence by the gym's staff or owner. Our Sioux Falls personal injury attorneys suggest that anyone injured at the gym consult a South Dakota injury lawyer to determine if the gym’s negligence caused or contributed to the injury. The lawyer will review the gym’s general release and advise the victim about the best ways to obtain compensation for the injury. To schedule a free consultation with a Sioux Falls gym injury lawyer, contact Zimmer, Duncan, and Cole, LLP at 888-733-2992.



Category: Personal Injury

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