案例研究:责任豁免,私人教练在健身房伤害索赔中创造了主要问题

案例研究:责任豁免,私人教练在健身房伤害索赔中创造了主要问题

在健身房和健身俱乐部受伤的受害者在评估他们的索赔价值和获得赔偿的权利时面临许多挑战. 这些问题中包括与会员和客人签署的责任豁免相关的问题, 以及健身房雇佣私人教练作为独立承包商而不是雇员的安排.

但仅仅因为签署了免责声明,或在独立承包商的监督下发生了伤害,并不意味着受害者没有选择.

As illustrated in a case handled by Biren Law Group, 有经验的律师可以帮助原告调查他们主张的突出问题,并探索可用的策略来确定过错和责任.

Case Facts

Biren Law Group代理一名原告,因其私人教练在进行加速短跑训练时疏忽大意,导致手腕严重受伤. Specifically, 原告被要求在跑道上全速奔跑,同时教练在她身上绑上带子. The harness was not designed for this type of exercise.

While conducting the sprint-resistance exercise, the personal trainer released the bands, which were still attached to the Plaintiff’s harness. This caused the bands to immediately lose resistance, trail behind the Plaintiff as she sprinted at full speed, and ultimately flip up and entangle the Plaintiff’s feet.

结果,原告摔倒了,手腕受了严重的,改变生活的伤.

Case Issues: Membership Agreement, Negligence, Trainer Employment Status & Fraud

本案提出了三个关键问题,被告必须解决这些问题才能承担责任:

  1. 原告在与被告的培训师一起工作之前签署的试用会员协议中的免责条款是否排除了她对被告的过失索赔?
  2. Was the personal trainer negligent?
  3. 私人教练是否为该健身房的雇员,因此不属于该健身房的责任政策范围.

1. Liability Waiver in Gym Trial Membership Agreement

Gyms and fitness centers often require signature of liability waivers, typically as part of a membership agreement, before members and guests can use their facilities. 这些协议通常限制成员只有在能够证明有重大过失(这是一个难以满足的标准)或现行合同无效或不适用时才提出索赔.

In the absence of gross negligence, 碧人法律集团的首要目标是确立原告签署的trial membership agreement中所包含的免责条款在事件发生时并不有效.

For this, BLG meticulously reviewed the contract, terms of the trial membership, and relevant case law, which made it clear the liability was only applicable during the 7-day trial period. This allowed the Plaintiff to:

  • Defeat the defendant’s arguments that the liability waiver precluded the claim;
  • Establish that the Plaintiff was not subject to the liability waiver.

Further, 这种法律手段使原告处于一种只需要证明自己玩忽职守的境地, rather than gross negligence, against the defendants.

2. Negligence

To address the issue of negligence, BLG聘请了一位州内顶尖的健身专家,他熟悉教练试图进行的锻炼类型和应该使用的正确设备类型.

Through the expert, 原告能够证明被告没有使用正确的设备:

  • 造成了危险的情况,在原告全速奔跑时,绳索仍然系在原告身上并拖着她的脚.
  • Increased the risk of injury exponentially.

Specifically, 专家认为原告应该已经佩戴了一套带带子的背带,当短跑运动员被教练释放时,背带就会脱落, thereby eliminating the risk of the sprinter tripping.

3. Gym Liability

Lastly, BLG不得不与被告健身房争论,因为私人教练是一个独立的承包商,而不是雇员, the gym could not be held liable. Generally, 雇主对雇员在工作过程中所造成的损害承担替代责任, but not for damages caused by independent contractors.

This was a significant hurdle, 由于被告的教练没有保险,健身房的政策成为赔偿原告的唯一有效的保险来源.

Through meticulous investigation, BLG能够识别出被告教练将自己作为健身房雇员的几种方式. Evidence gathered in the investigation found:

  • The defendant trainer was listed on the listed on the gym’s website as a “coach”.
  • Numerous images online showing the Defendant trainer in clothing with the gym’s logo.
  • The defendant trainer told his clients that he worked for the gym.

该证据为BLG迫使被告培训师获得代理并正式要求健身房的保险政策覆盖其辩护提供了筹码, 最终保险公司接受被告培训师的保险.

Exposure of Fraud by the Defendant and Defense Counsel

Throughout the course of BLG’s meticulous investigation, it was discovered that the gym owner, as well as his defense attorney, engaged in multiple acts of fraud. BLG learned that the gym owner, a man who had previously trained Olympic-level athletes, 本质上是一个过去曾被发现严重服用兴奋剂的骗子吗.

Additionally, 这个健身房老板不知道他应该在宣誓下核实的具体实质性的关键责任发现回应——他的辩护律师提供的回应. BLG followed the trail of crumbs to the defense attorney herself. Upon further investigation, 很明显,辩护律师伪造了她的客户的签名——这是一个重大的道德违背,律师可能会因此被吊销执照.

由于BLG对欺诈问题的调查施加了巨大压力, and in an effort to avoid embarrassment from the exposure of said fraud, 辩护律师要求在法庭下令对被告进行第二次宣誓作证之前先进行调解. At this mediation, the case settled for top dollar.

Upon conclusion of this case, the defense attorney who committed fraud and forgery was fired from her firm.

Key Lessons from This Case

原告的律师必须在努力中清除各种障碍,以帮助客户成功解决索赔, 他们可以根据这些障碍看起来有多严重来评估潜在的行动. Still, counsel should be careful of viewing obstacles involving liability waivers, independent contractors, or other preclusive circumstances as insurmountable upon initial review.

As demonstrated in this matter, 确定索赔的关键问题,并采取系统的方法进行调查,可以让原告律师发现索赔中可行的策略,可能会被草率的审查驳回. When arguments begin to take shape, 充足的证据和专家证人可以提供进一步的可信度和影响力,以达成积极的结果.

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