If you get hurt at your gym and think you can sue…

A New York Law Journal abstract of a decision that might apply to a lot of us who work out at gyms:

Cioffi v. New York Sports Clubs, 18227/2012

  • Supreme Court, Queens County, IA Part 27
  • Justice Darrell Gavrin

Member Barred From Recovering From Gym for Injuries by Assumption of Risk Doctrine

I was curious enough to search for definitions of Assumption of Risk Doctrine. I found quite a few. Here’s one from a lawyer. It’s a little dense, i.e., maybe too legalistic for you, but one paragraph seems pretty clear. I bolded one sentence.

The most clear-cut of the three categories is Primary Assumption of Risk. This doctrine will most likely apply to you and completely bar you from any recovery if you are, among other things: an athlete who broke your foot playing your sport or a veterinarian who was bitten severely by a dog you were treating. In Primary Assumption of Risk, the court assumes that you fully comprehend the risks of participating in an activity because those risks are perfectly obvious to any reasonable individual. If you are an athlete in a contact sport, for example, your experience and knowledge of the game should have alerted you to the risk of being injured while playing. As a veterinarian, it stands to reason that you might at one time or another be bitten or scratched by a distressed animal.

My guess is, it’s in the fine print of whatever contract you sign when you join a gym. Getting hurt at a gym comes under another doctrine: shit happens and it may not be anyone’s fault.

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