A Contra Costa County gym was recently sued by a female patron who slipped in its locker room.
Zahra Naser alleges that she fell in the locker room of Lakeridge Athletic Club in El Sobrante. A court recently found that Naser’s claim was barred by the liability release in her gym membership contract.
Naser joined the Lakeridge Athletic Club in early 2004.
Her membership paperwork included a clause which released the gym of any liability arising out of her membership.
Specifically, the clause stated:
“The Member is fully aware of the potential dangers incidental in engaging in the activity and instruction of exercise activities (such as weight lifting, bodybuilding, aerobic dancing, and any other exercise activity). In consideration of permitting this member to join this Club or to participate in exercise activity and/or instruction at these premises (including the entire indoor area and outdoor parking area), the Member agrees to voluntarily assume all liability and to indemnify [Lakeridge] for any death, injury, or damage suffered by any person, including the Member, arising out of the Member’s activities at [Lakeridge] even if death, injury, or damage is caused by [Lakeridge’s] own passive or active negligence.”
Naser was injured after swimming in the pool and visiting the gym sauna in 2009.
She claims to have slipped in a puddle of water on the gym floor and injured her knee. Court documents indicate that the floor of the locker room wasn’t entirely covered by protective mats, which may have contributed to Naser’s fall.
A trial court threw out Naser’s lawsuit, finding that the waiver in her gym contract was enforceable and did not violate the Health Studio Act. The court notes that the release applied to Naser’s fall because slipping on a wet locker room floor was a typical and known hazard at a gym.
Naser also lost her appeal and had to pay Lakeridge Athletic Club’s appeal costs.
Citation: Naser v. Lakeridge Athletic Club, 2014 WL 2922405, June 27, 2014.