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Regarding Liability at a Fitness Gym. I fell an fractured L-5 vertebrae /collapsed in fused area of back. Suffering 3 months.

San Diego, CA |

I fell at a Gym after a woman moved a bench, fractured back, rotated pelvis SI joint. I investigated the codes for Bench requirements in Gyms and discovered in writing if it were built today the benches would have to be bolted down.. They were grandfathered in. Since it is code now there could be legal consequences according to the city investigator. I have a serious injury, last month went to hospital and attempted Kyphoplasty but vertebrae collapsed. I previously had a fusion in the area, so unusual for this to happen. Extremely painful. Met with adjuster, they are only offering at this point out of pocket up to 5,000. What is your take on Liability? Is there an M.D. attorney willing to respond?

Failed to say I was taken to hospital by ambulance and stayed in hospital 5 days , I could not get out of bed . Had an MRI and CT and the radiologist did a comparison from 2010 fusion CT and current CT. Very clear results. Am facing future possible surgery, two discs and one other vertebrae were involved. I had a huge hematoma in the front of my stomach showing up a month later; as it showed up on MRI.. I am now 1 1/2 inches shorter and hard to stand up straight, wear a custom belt.. Also the Insurance company is not responding to my inquiry about when I am going to be reimbursed for out of pocket so far over 2,000 out of pocket and several outstanding bills..

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

If this is a viable case there are no shortage of local and qualified attorneys who will help. Find the one you are most comfortable with and confident in. Avvo attorneys may not solicit so you will need to contact them. Stop speaking with your enemy, sorry I meant adversary.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff

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Posted

Sorry to hear about this. It all depends on the release and waiver of liability that you signed when you joined the gym. There is most likely a medical payment provision to the policy up to 5K. Ask for copies of all the documents that you signed when you joined and have an attorney review the waiver of liability if there is one.

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Asker

Posted

They sent me a copy of their policy with the Gym stating bodily injury isn't covered during and while I am engaging in a workout program. This was caused by a third party member at their gym in a very confined area no room to get dressed,. I told them that I believed there was an argument for liability because of the code regarding the benches now. They are Grandfathered in but could bolt them down for safety.. And Crunch just bought the Gym two days ago.. so I don't know what impact that will have if any.. I know Philadelphia Ins. company specializes in insuring Fitness Centers so I know they have a good policy. They denied liability the first month and when I told them this and sent then a copy of my MRI and CT scan immediately they had an adjuster meet with me.

Asker

Posted

thanks your right, I did read it and it seems to be air tight, however the City of El Cajon sent me a letter stating that the new code requires these benches to be bolted down and in his response he said" they were grandfathered in however because of the codes now I may have legal recourse.." There are only 14 inches from the bench to the lockers and you can hardly move in there let alone get dressed. I can't prove who moved the bench but I didn't and I would not be able to fit in that small area without hitting the bench.. If I were healing I don't think I would pursue this but it is turning into something more than I anticipated. So my arguement was you should have a reasonable amount of room to get dressed. And I always have to move these benches to get dressed and always wait till people clear out from class. So I am not sure what the Liability is after seeing their contract but there is an argument for partial liability here I think due to negligence in at least posting a sign, as majority of their members are over 55.. thanks for you help

Posted

You should speak with a Personal Injury attorney immediately to provide more facts about the accident. More information is needed about the premises and the gym's liability in regard to the dangerous condition possibly created by violation of the code. Your injuries sound quite substantial so do not delay in seeking the proper legal advice. Most firms offer free over the phone consultations.

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Posted

THANKS I am waiting to get copy of the contract I signed... Also another Gym just bought out my Gym will the insurance company continue working with me even though the owner sold the Gym? Also I have over 2,000 outstanding out of pocket medical which I sent bills to them about a month ago and after three emails have not heard anything not even a response back.. Will they pay up to the 5,000 right away if I file a suit against them..? The most important question I asked is the on regarding selling Gym.. would you please answer that one? thanks I am waiting to get copy of my contract and proof of the current codes regarding the benches. thanks

Asker

Posted

what if there was a waiver, but only excluding coverage if I am USING FACILITY OR EQUIPMENT, as I think that is the way it read. This fall was a freak accident; as someone moved the bench just as I was sitting on it; as there is only 14 inches from the bench to locker and I fell on both elbows full on back , pelvis, rotated and broke back. I had rug burns on both arms and never hit the bench!! so anyway once I get the copy of contract I will go from there. If I was healing and getting better I would just move on but I am not.. three months later. I am hope the selling of the Gym will not effect my claim. thanks again.

Ramin Joseph Raiszadeh

Ramin Joseph Raiszadeh

Posted

The sale of the gym should not affect insurance coverage by the provider at the time of the incident. You really should speak with an attorney ASAP. I've posted a link to an interactive guide that i think would be very helpful to you. there is a whole section on trip and fall accidents. http://www.torklaw.com/accidents-happen/

Ramin Joseph Raiszadeh

Ramin Joseph Raiszadeh

Posted

As to the waiver issue, signing of the waiver cannot relive the gym of negligence (if they were in fact negligent here). Again, i think the recurring theme you are seeing in these answers is that you need to seek proper legal advice soon and possibly hire an attorney to represent you in this matter. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Posted

Your damages are incredibly high and the real question is what documents you may have signed releasing the gym. Also, I'd wonder who moved the bench, how it caused you to fall, etc. It's a situation that definitely requires investigation. A lot of the lawyers on here would offer free consultations.

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Asker

Posted

Well everyone says that and I am waiting on the copy. However they sent me a copy of their policy stating it didn't cover bodily injury while engaging in a workout or using equipment. No one has come forward and I am sure they won't./ they sent an adjuster from LA to meet with me after I sent them the MRI and CT scan. So they are looking seriously at this claim once I told them what the investigator said to me regarding the benches,. He said they were Grandfathered in, but obviously the code states now if they were to build the Gym today the code state that they would have to bolt the benches down. And the investigator told me because of the code I am able to take legal action or something to that effect I am waiting on the report from the city of El Cajon. The insurance company also said I have two years to file a claim if I choose to.

Christopher John Gansen

Christopher John Gansen

Posted

They will say and do almost anything to keep you from getting a lawyer to investigate this. The building code is but one aspect. You really should get a lawyer.

Posted

An attorney ay be able to maximize your claim.

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