T Nation

Gym Negligence?


#21

Speaking of leg presses, at this god-forsaken gym I train at the leg press machine flipped over last week. Granted it was due to stupidity of the user. The guy loaded up the leg press, did quarter presses (maybe 9-10 plates per side) then proceeded to strip all the weight off of ONE side. BOOM thing flipped over and the part you put the weights on that was now empty caught on the guys shirt and threw him off balance.

Thanks BG for all the insight into this.


#22

You can't exclude personal injury liability in the UK either.
The OP it is probably more likely to fall on someone on the plate side of it rather than injure the user.

I am amazed benches with spotters built in are not compulsory too.
I have long recognised the potential dangers of smith machines. They should be banned entirely IMO. The newbee gym user thinks they are safest thing too.
.
We actually have a similar type of machine in our gym. I think it is bolted. I will check next time.

Why are there never powerracks to? They much safer than half squat racks.


#23

Speaking of leg presses, at this god-forsaken gym I train at the leg press machine flipped over last week. Granted it was due to stupidity of the user. The guy loaded up the leg press, did quarter presses (maybe 9-10 plates per side) then proceeded to strip all the weight off of ONE side. BOOM thing flipped over and the part you put the weights on that was now empty caught on the guys shirt and threw him off balance.

Thanks BG for all the insight into this.[/quote]

Wow. now that is true meathead status. Cause even with a quarter leg press the guy has probably been in the gym for years, and still doing this shit.


#24

The gym could use signs to inform users too. I.e. do not strip the weight off unevenly.
Sounds stupid, I know.

The gym I go to actually had no spotters on the smith machine for a period of time.
So they put up a sign saying don't use more than 10kg per side or something similar.
Also staff informed users the same.

That type of thing would increase contributory negligence etc (i.e. lower damages awarded).

I do think there is big need for more regulation/specific health to prevent a lot of this stupid shit happening.

Weight tree also ridicously dangerous.

Did you have any claims like this?
I learned recently that police are taught not to indicate . A policewoman killed someone in the early hours of the morning (on a moped) without indicating twice recently. It would be interesting to see what would happen if someone sued the Police Authority.


#25

I'm not sure I understand your question. "Indicate" or "identify"? I'm not sure of the regulations but I believe that generally police here have to identify themselves as such or risk getting shot themselves. Suing law enforcement (and the government, municipalities, etc.) is tricky as they are generally entitled to a number of immunities. So to bring such a claim, you have to clear some legal hurdles to make a recovery.


#26

3 PLATE! 3PLATE!1!1


#27

Thanks I mean signalling to turn left or right.
The police and emergency services get no immunity here.
Of course they escape personal liability unless they are behaving like a maniac.


#28

Where is here?

As far as I know, they are subject to the same rules of the road as everyone else unless they are responding to an emergency. As a practical matter, they do pretty much whatever the fuck they want.


#29

That would be penny wise and dollar dumb, which many small business owners are very quick to do.

As BG pointed out, lawsuits surrounding these types of things can easily go into the millions.

A hammer drill and a box of ramset anchors cost a couple hundred bucks at the most. When done as part of installation, it is a piece of cake to anchor and secure machinery like this. As an after the fact, it can be a big pain in the ass that may cost you buddy his business.


#30

x2 on the hammer drill/concrete anchor thing.

It's possible that the owner doesn't know how to anchor this stuff properly, or is afraid that it'll affect the lease somehow.


#31

Lots of gyms don't anchor their equipment - I've seen it lots of time. They may do it for lease reasons but I'm guessing it's convenience also - once you bolt something down, you cannot move equipment as easily. I'd say the risk from something not being bolted into the floor is dependent on the type of equipment it is.

We can't predict the future; you can leave something like that and nothing might not ever happen. But if it does, and it's not bolted, and the injury was caused from the equipment being unsecured, then the gym will likely be responsible.

That said, I think there are bigger risks in the gym that an owner can avoid, like making sure to have a defib unit, having someone trained to use it and otherwise trained in CPR and making sure equipment is in good working condition free from wear and tear by conducting regular inspections and making sure to replace worn parts timely.

Keeping the floor areas clean, clear and free from hazards and defects would be big too. A gym owner probably has more exposure to a slip and fall in the bathroom than he does to a machine tipping over.

But if it were me, I'd probably bolt them down - people do some dumb shit and doing dumb shit is not necessarily a bar to recovery for a claim :slight_smile:


#32

Well glad to see this thread brought about some interesting discussion. I'll have to look into the anchors for my buds place, I know he is not the owner of his future building and will be leasing so this seems to be the most cost effective way to approach this, thanks for the tip Skyzy.

Personally I'm just excited I'll have a gym to go to with platforms and real squat racks and being able to use chalk so I'd like this place to succeed for my own personal reasons as well as that of a friend wanting to see success of a friend.


#33

This is America. Sue away. That's how it works. If some dumb broad can get $$ out of McD's because she didn't "know" coffee was hot, I'm sure suing the gym would be easy.


#34

Why dont you ban cars too. And motorcycles. Those things kill thousands of people.

STFU with banning smith machine talk.

England sucks btw. pussy ass attitude


#35

I don't want to get off the beaten track here but that McD's coffee case is probably the biggest "urban legend" type of misinformation that I'm aware of. Unless you want a full analysis, I'll simply tell you that McD's was completely responsible for her injuries and the case against them was quite strong. It was NOT a simple case of hot coffee. Although I agree with your general sentiment about people being eager to litigate, the McD's case is a very bad example.


#36

The truth about the McDonald's coffee case:

http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

In short, they were aware of the hazard to their customers, were on notice of previous incidents, did not have a good reason for their decision and ignored the hazard in the interest of what they believed "tasted" better. In sum, they were clearly negligent, and willfully negligent at that. Furthermore, the jury properly considered the plaintiff's comparative fault and the award was reduced accordingly. The McDonald's case was an instance of justice.


#37

A smith machine is not patently dangerous. Anything can be dangerous if misused. Generally, a "risk v. utility" analysis is one of the measures applied to products liability cases. And manufacturers are under an obligation to warn against foreseeable risk, including misuse of a product. Check out all the warnings on a simple ladder some time. It basically warns against "stupidity" and should really be an eye opener to those not experienced with litigation.


#38

Ok I shoudn't, make sweeping statements.

I would ban it because it is dangerous and near useless for anything but a bench throw.
Good, better
Let 's not wear seatbelts too. Typical French laissez-faire attitude . Only joking mate.

Would you not prefer a powerrack in its place?

I have seen fairly safe ones too. But someone will often not replace the safety pins and the next person will use it without safetys. There are very stupid people at gyms and people don't think at the gym.


#39

Maybe, if the company says it should be bolted down and you could prove you were using it correctly, possibly.


#40

exactly. stupid people can find a way to make stuffed animals dangerous