Americans are more active today than ever before.  As a result, many people are turning to health clubs, fitness or athletic centers, or private gyms for exercise.  Health clubs are finding themselves open to a variety of liabilities to these new found patrons.  Health clubs are generally liable under negligence principles.  One area where health clubs find themselves liable is for the quality of instruction or supervision they provide.

Health clubs often have personal trainers, class instructors, or facility supervisors, who work closely with health club patrons.  They lead classes or give advise about fitness techniques.  Most times health clubs can be liable for the actions of instructors or supervisors because of vicarious liability.  

Typical Health Club Injuries from Poor Instruction

The typical injuries that are involved with poor instruction or supervision are:

  • Muscular or skeletal strains,
  • Cardiovascular problems,
  • Increased anxiety,
  • Mental suffering,
  • Collision accidents, or
  • Other medical conditions

Injuries that result from poor quality instruction or improper supervision have even been extended to negligent recommendation of a work-out or diet plan.  

Factors that May Show Instructor Liability

When a court considers a lawsuit for poor quality instruction or supervision, it will consider multiple factors, which can include:

  • The patron’s age, maturity, experience, ability level, and physical condition,
  • If the activity involved required a warm-up,
  • If the activity involved was one where the patron would likely be qualified to engage in,
  • If the patron was warned of any possible risks,
  • If the instructor or supervisor showed the patron the activity themselves, or
  • What guidelines, authority, or education an instructor or supervisor was working with.

Do I Need an Attorney to Handle my Health Club Liability Issue?

If you think a health club is liable to you for poor instruction of supervision, or you are involved with a health club and someone is claiming you are liable to them for poor instruction or supervision, it is highly recommended for you to contact a personal injury attorney.  Only they will be able to properly explain the issues and help protect your rights.