Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Exculpatory Clause in Fitness Center's Membership Agreement Upheld

In the case of Milshteyn v. Fitness International, LLC, 2022 Pa. Super. 30 (Pa. Super. Feb. 18, 2022 Panella, P.J., Kunselman, J., and Stevens, P.J.E.) (Op. by Panella, P.J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that the trial court properly granted summary judgment to a fitness facility in a Plaintiffs’ slip and fall action where the membership agreement signed by the Plaintiff was not found to be a contract of adhesion.

The court also found that the release in the agreement clearly foreclosed the Plaintiff from proceeding on the claim presented.

The court additionally found that the Plaintiffs’ claim for gross negligence found in an Amended Complaint constituted a wholly distinct claim from the claim presented in the original Complaint. The court noted that the Plaintiffs had attempted to add a claim of gross negligence after the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations in an effort to get around the release in the membership agreement given that a claim for gross negligence would not have been barred by the membership agreement. As such, the court stated that, in this context, the Plaintiff’s claims for gross negligence should be deemed to constitute a new cause of action.

As such, the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s entry of summary judgment.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (March 8, 2022).

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from www.pexels.com.

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