Archive for March, 2015

Legal Workout – Fitness Club Defends Negligence, Gross Negligence, Products Claims (CA)

March 23, 2015

24 hour fitness logoGrebing v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (California)

In 2012, a member of a 24 Hour Fitness facility in La Mirada, California was injured while using a “low row” machine during a workout.  The clip holding the weight on the machine failed, causing the machine’s handlebar to strike the plaintiff in the forehead and allegedly causinghead, back, and neck injuries.  Plaintiff filed a complaint against the fitness facility for (1) negligence, (2) negligent products liability, (3) strict products liability, and (4) breach of implied warranty of merchantability.

Coach of Youth Equestrian Rider Escapes Liability in Wrongful Death Case (CA)

March 11, 2015

Eriksson v. Nunnink (California)

In 2006, a 17-year old girl was killed while riding a horse in competition in California.  The parents of the decedent sued for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress, alleging that the horse was “unfit to ride because of prior falls and lack of practice.”  After the plaintiffs presented evidence at trial, the trial court granted defendant’s motion for entry of judgment, which the plaintiffs appealed.  The Court of Appeal held that the minor waiver and release agreement signed by the decedent and her mother prior to decedent’s participation in the competition was enforceable as a liability defense to the wrongful death claim.  Although a minor can “disaffirm” a written contract, the terms of the waiver and release agreement became “irrevocable and binding” under California caselaw when the agreement was signed by the minor’s parent. (more…)

Encore – Triable Issues Regarding Fall From Concert Stage (CA)

March 11, 2015

Fazio v. Fairbanks (California)

In 2010, a musician fell off a stage and was injured while performing at a country club in San Diego, California.  He asserted a negligence against the country club, which filed a motion for summary judgment based on primary assumption of the risk (i.e., falling off a stage was an inherent risk for stage performers such that the club did not have a duty to protect the musician from that risk).  The trial court granted the club’s motion, and the musician appealed.  On appeal, the Court of Appeal confirmed that falling off a stage was an inherent risk for stage performers, but it reversed the trial court ruling, finding that a triable issue of material fact existed as to whether the condition of the stage (which included “significant gaps” along the sides due to its configuration) increased the risks and “posed a substantial risk of injury to the foreseeable user exercising due care.”