Friday, June 1, 2018

Summary Judgment Granted on Basis of Release in Membership Agreement With Gym

In the case of Hill v. LA Fitness, No. 2017 - CV - 2092 (E.D. Pa. April 10, 2018 Joyner, J.), the court granted summary judgment for the Defendant on the Plaintiff’s personal injury claim where the Plaintiff knowingly and voluntarily agreed to a valid and enforceable exculpatory waiver or release of liability. 

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff was allegedly injured when he tripped and fell over a yoga mat mistakenly left on the floor on the basketball court at an LA Fitness facility.  

The defense filed a summary judgment asserting that the Plaintiff’s action was barred by the exculpatory waiver in the Plaintiff’s membership agreement.  

In opposition to the motion, the Plaintiff did not challenge the validity or enforceability of the agreement but instead argued that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he signed the agreement.

The court noted that, although the Plaintiff testified at his deposition that his then girlfriend signed his name to the first page of the agreement, the Plaintiff otherwise admitted that he did read the agreement and initialed the remaining pages of the same.   The court found this to be evidence that the Plaintiff understood that he was entering the membership agreement, including the exculpatory waiver.  

Because the Plaintiff was found to have entered a valid enforceable exculpatory waiver, the court ruled that the Plaintiff’s negligence claims were barred by that waiver and, therefore, granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. 

The Court's Opinion can be viewed at this LINK.  Here is the LINK to the companion Order.

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