Torts Keyed to Prosser
Seigneur v. National Fitness Institute, Inc.
Plaintiff Seigneur joined Defendant’s fitness club on a one month trial basis to lose weight, and was injured while undergoing an initial evaluation. Plaintiff chose the particular club because her chiropractor recommended it and because it advertised that it employed certified fitness and health specialists and promised to provide programs appropriate for [Plaintiff’s] health status and fitness level. Plaintiff disclosed her history of back problems (including hernia) and her general lack of fitness. As part of the signup process, Plaintiff had to sign a Participation Agreement which contained an exculpatory release for all claims, demands, injuries, and damages from all acts of passive or active negligence on the part of Defendant. Plaintiff injured her shoulder on one of the weight machines, and subsequently underwent surgery to repair a muscle tear. Plaintiff sued on a respondeat superior theory for failing to properly train a negligent employee. Plaintiff argued that the exculpatory clause was void against public policy, was a contract of adhesion, and regardless, was unclear and ambiguous.
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