Margolis Law

WHY DON’T HEALTH CLUB MEMBERS SEEK ASSISTANCE FROM AN ATTORNEY WHEN THEY ARE INJURED IN THE GYM?

WHY DON’T HEALTH CLUB MEMBERS SEEK ASSISTANCE FROM AN ATTORNEY WHEN THEY ARE INJURED IN THE GYM?

 I have discussed before the number of injuries that are reported in regards to health club and fitness facility injuries.

But for all the injuries that get reported, there is a reverse side to this issue – the many injuries that don’t get reported.

Before becoming an attorney in Wisconsin, I worked for many years as a Medical Exercise Specialist in various health club facilities. On more than a few occasions, I saw people sustaining injuries in the health club. But, usually the injured person would just act as if the injury didn’t happen, or wasn’t important.

I’m not talking about injuries that are sustained by a person’s own negligence. For example, if a person willfully chooses to not listen to professional advice regarding the proper form to lift weights and sustains an injury from his/her own choice, that’s clearly a case of contributory negligence.

But I am referring to gym injuries that are a result of negligence by the health club owners/managers themselves.

WHAT THE HEALTH CLUB OWES TO ITS MEMBERS

 In general, health clubs, gyms, and fitness facilities owe a duty of care to members to not be negligent, and provide safety for foreseeable injuries. Different levels of care are required for different classifications of members/visitors (which I will not specifically cover here), but gym members should understand that a duty of care is owed to them.

SO WHY DON’T HEALTH CLUB MEMBERS SEEK AN ATTORNEY WHEN THEY ARE INJURED AT THE GYM?

 In my experience both as a fitness professional and as a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer, I have found three general reasons why gym members don’t report injuries, or speak to an attorney about their gym injuries.

1)     Embarrassment – Most people want to project a certain amount of knowledge and command while they are working out. Whether a health club member rips open their hand on a sharp metal object that shouldn’t be sticking out, or gets a full-body squishing from a defective leg press machine, or gets thrown off a treadmill upon a non-expected sudden stop or speeding up, or pulls a large muscle due to negligent personal training, people would rather bleed, limp, swell up, or try to walk off their injuries.

2)     Members didn’t know they should or could – As I mentioned earlier, health clubs, gyms, and fitness facilities owe a duty of care to their members. The only way to keep these businesses accountable and on their toes is to report injuries, and sometimes consult a gym injury attorney to prosecute the negligence of such businesses.

3)     Members didn’t know gym was at fault – Similar to the “embarrassment” issue, most people tend to blame themselves for their injuries and don’t realize that the health club is at fault. Personal injury law can be very complicated, and health club members could potentially benefit greatly by consulting with a Wisconsin personal injury/gym injury attorney to see if they have an actionable case against their health club.

If you think you might have a case resulting from a gym, health club, or fitness facility injury, call Wisconsin gym injury attorney Thomas Margolis @ 608-827-1598.

 

 

 

 

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PERSONAL INJURY, OR PERSONAL INJURY DEFENSE: HIRE A GLADIATOR!

Personal injuries occur all the time. There are numerous ways in which a person can attain an injury. Here are just a few of many types of personal injuries:

- Slip and Fall
- Pharmaceutical Negligence/Malpractice
- Medical Malpractice
- Animal Bites
- Car Accidents
- Defective Products
- Premises Liability
- Gun Accidents
- School Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Assault
- Abuse
- Battery
- Defamation of Character
- Gym Injury

If you are in Wisconsin, and have experienced any of these kinds of offenses, you may have an actionable legal case.

If it is determined that you do have an actionable case, you need an attorney who will fight for what you deserve – you need a legal gladiator who will not leave any stone unturned.

If you contact the Wisconsin law firm Margolis Law, you will be able to speak with an attorney who can help you determine if you have a case.

At Margolis law, we will tenaciously fight on your behalf. We consider every case to be important, not just the big cases.

Thomas Margolis is a Wisconsin based personal injury attorney, based in Madison, Wisconsin.

gym-injury-lawyer

Health Club Owners: Know Who You Are Hiring!

Health Club Owners: Know Who You Are Hiring!

Health clubs, fitness centers, and even smaller gyms usually include both employees (those who are paid by, and under the direction and control of their employer), and independent contractors (those who are usually paid on a non-salary, set compensation basis, and not under the direction of an employer).

These two types of workers will likely be mingling with the health club’s customers on a regular basis. They may include sales people, fitness instructors, maintenance staff, and massage therapists. Thus, it’s important for health club owners and managers to know who they are hiring.

Here are a few hiring tips for health club owners and managers to lower their legal risk liability regarding employees and independent contractors:

- Perform criminal background checks.
- Hire only those who possess the necessary certifications, education, and training.
- Supply employer-provided liability insurance for all employees.
- Confirm that all independent contractors provide proof of liability insurance.
- Make certain that employees and independent contractors are clearly differentiated.

These are just a few tips for health club owners and managers to consider. Most health clubs are used by a wide variety of people, including more vulnerable populations such as older adults, people with disabilities, and children. Thus, it is very important for health club owners and managers to ensure the safety of all its customers, as well as limit its own legal liabilities.

Thomas Margolis is a Madison, Wisconsin based attorney, serving clients throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Margolis Law

Health Clubs: A Minefield of Potential Injuries

HEALTH CLUBS: A MINEFIELD OF POTENTIAL INJURIES

Health club owners and managers must understand that they need to be highly tuned in to all aspects of the club’s operation because there are so many potential legal issues involved.

Having previously worked in the healthcare field for 13 years, I saw many incidents occur that could have resulted in lawsuits. Here are a few examples:

-        An employee failing to put a “Caution, Wet Floor” sign on a freshly mopped floor resulted in a member falling on her back and head.

-        A member repeatedly sexually harassing women in the club’s Jacuzzi.

-        Another personal trainer’s client falling off of an exercise bike while warming up for a personal training session.

-        A new member spitting on his hands before touching exercise equipment in order to “get a better grip.”

-        Members using exercise equipment in dangerous, contraindicated ways.

These are just a small sampling of the vast minefield of ways in which health club owners can be vulnerable to lawsuits resulting from injuries.

 Mitigating the Risks

One way health club owners and managers can mitigate both potential and real risks is to regularly inspect all of the health club’s equipment. This includes not-so-obvious equipment such as exercise balls and exercise bands. Regarding exercise balls, a health club was recently sued by a member when the exercise ball deflated while he was doing chest presses with dumbbells. Regarding bands, a health club was included in a lawsuit when a woman was using a band that snapped and hit her in the eye.

Thus, health club owners and managers should be thoroughly knowledgeable in regards to the manufacturer’s recommendations of use, as well as life expectancy of all exercise equipment in the club. Inspection of the equipment should be regular, and regularly documented.

Health club owners and staff also need to know all of the comings and goings within their facility. Simple procedures can go a long way in mitigating risks, such as checking every member in, making sure cell phones aren’t being used to invade privacy in locker rooms, providing thorough orientations for members, and making sure all trainers are certified and practicing within their scope of practice. These are just some of the regular practices that may mitigate the risk of an expensive lawsuit down the road.

Wisconsin personal injury lawyer Thomas Margolis can help you assess your gym injury case. Contact Margolis Law today.

Gym Injury

Hurt At The Gym – But You Signed A Release…Now What?

Waivers of Liability – (Release of Responsibility)

Members of fitness centers are all familiar with the part of their contract that says that the gym, gym staff, etc., are not liable for injuries sustained by members. So, the average gym member assumes that the Waiver is ironclad, and that they have no legal options against the fitness center.

However, in Wisconsin, waiver of liability agreements are disfavored, and to be upheld, the agreement (contract) must withstand very close scrutiny. The Wisconsin Supreme Court stated, “each exculpatory contract (waiver of liability) that this court has looked at in the past 25 years has been held unenforceable.” This does not mean that all such waivers are unenforceable, but if the court finds that the waiver is contrary to public policy, it will probably be invalid.

What It Means If You Are Injured

Health club members should know that despite signing a waiver or release of liability, they may still have a very good, actionable case against the negligent health club ownership, health club management, or health club employees such as trainers.
So, If you do get injured in a gym, health club, or fitness center, contact Wisconsin attorney Thomas Margolis.

As a former business owner in the health and fitness field, Medical Exercise Specialist, Personal Trainer, and Fitness Counselor for more than 12 years, Wisconsin personal injury lawyer Thomas Margolis has a thorough understanding of the fitness industry. Since Attorney Margolis has experienced all aspects of the workings of the health club/fitness center industry, he understands the legal issues associated with gym injuries from the plaintiff’s side (gym members), as well as the legal issues associated from the defense’s side (gym owners, managers, fitness trainers, and other fitness professionals working with gym members).
Wisconsin personal injury lawyer Thomas Margolis can help you to assess your gym injury case. Contact Margolis Law today.

Thomas Margolis is a Madison, Wisconsin based attorney, serving clients throughout the state of Wisconsin.

man lifting weights at a gym

Gym Injuries May Be Actionable Legal Cases

There are 30,500 gyms and health clubs currently doing business in the United States. Approximately 58,000,000 health club members engage in some form of exercise within those U.S. gyms and health clubs annually. Most gyms provide free weights, exercise machines, various aerobic equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes, as well as locker room facilities. All of these elements of a typical health club require constant inspection and maintenance by qualified staff. Some health clubs do a great job of keeping their facilities clean and safe – some do not. Additionally, many clubs offer personal training services to their members. There are 273,500 personal trainers working in U.S. health clubs. The personal trainers in your gym might be certified, they might not be. They may possess a great deal of expertise regarding fitness issues, or they may possess very little. Trainers are oftentimes perceived by gym members to be fitness “experts.” Trainers will oftentimes present themselves to members and potential clients as experts when they are not. So, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, between 1990 and 2007, more than 970,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for weight training-related injuries. In 2012, an estimated 459,978 people were injured while exercising or using exercise equipment. Keep in mind, those are only gym injuries that were reported.

Before becoming a Wisconsin attorney, I worked in health clubs for over 12 years. I worked in several different club settings, such as a very large, well known chain of health clubs, an independent gym, a corporate gym setting, and a condominium gym setting. I was certified as a Personal Trainer, Fitness Counselor, and Medical Exercise Specialist. I also managed a health club, sold memberships, and gave orientations. I have experienced and am familiar with virtually every aspect of the business of fitness.

Now, I am a Wisconsin lawyer. As such, through this blog, I hope to educate health club members and health club staff on various legal issues pertinent to each. I want health club members throughout Wisconsin to understand that if they get hurt in a fitness facility, they may have an actionable legal case against the fitness facility, even if they signed a waiver. As a personal injury lawyer, I encourage health club members who sustain a gym injury to contact me for a free consultation. I also want to educate gym owners, staff, and trainers throughout Wisconsin in regards to managing risks and limiting liability. I also encourage those employed in the health club industry to contact me regarding personal injuries occurring in their facilities. I can provide legal defense, or as a preventive measure – consultations to owners and staff to educate on how to provide a safe and less risky workout environment.

Thomas Margolis is a Madison, Wisconsin based attorney, serving clients throughout the state of Wisconsin.