Fitness Equipment Recall
Gym and fitness center accidents are on the rise in America, resulting in serious injuries that may include concussions, neck and back injuries, lacerations, infections, or bone fractures. Thousands of emergency room visits each year are associated with gym equipment failures and fitness accidents, including home fitness equipment.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for victims injured by defective fitness equipment. Our legal team fights aggressively on behalf of our injured clients to ensure they receive maximum compensation for their damages while seeking justice from those who caused them harm.
Contact a Chicago product liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Gym Equipment and Treadmill Accident Injuries
The fitness industry is booming, but it's also growing more dangerous. Injuries related to the gym and home exercise equipment are rising in America, putting people at risk of serious injuries, including concussions, neck and back injuries, lacerations, or bone fractures.
Thousands of emergency room visits are associated with gym equipment failures and accidents involving treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes each year.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 1.5 million non-fatal sports injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during 2014 alone! This number has increased by more than 50% since 2000.
The ACSM also reports that 80% of all traumatic brain injuries due to sport occur among children under 15 years old.
Defective Gym Equipment
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 12,000 sports and recreation-related injuries on average occur every year. Many of these injuries occur on devices like:
- Stationary bikes
- Elliptical machines
- Weight benches and strength training equipment
- Fitness equipment in schools and universities
- Medicine balls
- Resistance bands
- Jump Ropes
- Stability Balls
For example, a young man from Illinois recently filed a lawsuit against nationwide fitness clubs after suffering a serious injury during a group exercise class. The plaintiff alleges that he was using an elliptical machine when it suddenly malfunctioned, throwing him off balance and injuring his neck, back, shoulder and jaw.
It is just one type of accident involving defective gym equipment. Another eight lawsuits have been filed against Reebok for allegedly manufacturing unstable Roman chairs – a piece of equipment used in strength training.
Other Types of Gym and Fitness Center Injuries
Knee injuries are a common type of injury related to fitness centers, especially when weights are dropped from above the user's head or during bench presses with improper form. The knee can be seriously injured by dropping weights onto it.
Injury lawsuits have been filed against facilities that allow people to drop heavy weights above their heads or off their stomachs during exercises like squats. This practice puts users at risk for severe concussions, neck and back injuries, shoulder pain or dislocation, lacerations, bone fractures.
Other types of fitness center injuries include:
- Receiving serious cuts due to improperly stored power tools.
- Being struck by falling exercise equipment during group workouts when proper supervision isn't provided.
- Being injured by poorly maintained cardio equipment that lacks shock absorbers or stabilizers.
Many dangers can be minimized or eliminated if fitness clubs provide adequate training to gym instructors and staff members who work in their facilities and ensure the machines are free of defects before allowing members to use them.
Personal trainers should also warn users about dangerous practices like dropping weights onto their shoulders or necks during exercise classes. In addition, they should never instruct anyone to lift more weight than they can handle on their own without assistance from a spotter.
Accidents Involving Treadmills, Stationary Bikes, Elliptical Machines & More
Among the most popular pieces of gym equipment are exercise bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills. According to the ACSM, these three machines alone were used by 32% of middle school students in 2015!
But not everything that glitters is gold. These machines can be dangerous if proper precautions aren't taken. Here are just a few examples of incidents involving defective fitness center equipment:
A lawsuit has been filed against Life Fitness for allegedly manufacturing treadmills with faulty rollers. The plaintiff claims that the machine slipped out from under her as she walked on it one day during her workout at an L.A. Fitness Club. As she tried to regain her balance, the treadmill allegedly threw her onto the console, causing her to break several teeth and require surgery.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Keiser for allegedly defective manufacturing bikes with hard plastic shields that posed a risk of injury to people who peddled too close to them while exercising on the machines. A 52-year-old man in Connecticut is one of the plaintiffs involved in this case; he claims he was working out on an exercise bike in his local YMCA when the machine suddenly threw him forward onto the handlebars, fracturing his nose.
Two lawsuits have been filed against Reebok for allegedly producing elliptical machines (one large and one small) with faulty foot pedals that failed to secure their users' feet. As a result, it reportedly caused them to slip off the pedals during workouts, causing serious injuries.
According to news reports, a 20-year-old woman in New Jersey was riding an elliptical machine at her local gym when it suddenly malfunctioned and threw her off of it. She claims that she landed on her head and suffered permanent brain damage due to the fall.
A $50 million class-action lawsuit has been filed against Vision Fitness for allegedly producing elliptical machines with faulty wiring, which could lead to smoke coming out of the console or power switches, posing fire hazards.
Other Types of Defects That Can Lead to Injury
Fitness equipment is not limited to cardio machines; other devices can cause injuries if not properly maintained. For example, a lawsuit has been filed against Life Fitness for allegedly manufacturing dumbbells with defective locking mechanisms, which caused them to fall apart while being used.
One plaintiff claims that her entire set of dumbbells collapsed on top of her during a workout at a Lifetime Fitness club in Dallas, causing several fractures and lacerations.
Another lawsuit was filed against Reebok for allegedly producing leg extension machines with poorly designed hinges that unexpectedly broke when put under stress. These accidents could reportedly lead to serious injuries such as dislocations, broken bones, or even paralysis.
What to Do If You're Seriously Injured at a Gym
Did faulty gym equipment injure you? If so, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of that equipment if they were negligent in their production or distribution. You can find out more by speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757, or use the contact form to discuss your case's merits during a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Fitness Equipment Injuries
There are many different ways that gym equipment can cause accidents. For example, the machines themselves may be poorly designed or defective. They may have been improperly installed or maintained. There may not have been enough safety features on them to prevent injury, etc.
- Defective Products and Equipment: Defective exercise equipment that malfunctions due to its design or defective manufacturing process could lead to severe injuries when the defective exercise equipment is fabricated with keep materials or worn from little use.
- Improper Maintenance: If the gym does not properly maintain its equipment, it could lead to injuries. For example, if a treadmill has faulty wiring that causes smoke or fire due to lack of maintenance, or if an elliptical machine does not have its foot pedal housing correctly secured, the user's foot slips off due to accidents.
- Slipping, Tripping, and Falling: Any defective exercise equipment that is unsafe or otherwise improperly maintained may increase the risk for slips, trips, and falls. For example, if a treadmill's belt is not secured properly or has shifting parts that make it skid during use, someone could fall as they walk on it.
- Improper Guarding: If the gym does not properly guard its equipment, especially with moving parts such as pedals or cables, this can increase the risk of accidents. For example, if a treadmill is missing safety clips on its electrical cords, they become unplugged and fall onto the floor, causing someone to trip.
- Stress from Fitness Classes: Gym patrons may also risk injury during fitness classes. For example, if a patron does not stretch before participating in a yoga class and then attempts an extremely difficult pose and injures their back because of the lack of stretching, this could be considered negligence on behalf of the yoga instructor.
- Negligent Trainers: If a personal trainer is negligent in their training, this can lead to injuries. For example, if the personal trainer does not properly train their client on using exercise equipment and injures themselves, this could be considered negligence.
- Negligent Gym Owners: When gym owners fail to take necessary precautions against foreseeable dangers or willfully ignore safety precautions, this could lead to injuries on the part of their patrons. For example, if a gym owner fails to provide proper supervision of fitness classes and an instructor injures one of their clients due to lack of supervision, this may be considered negligence on behalf of the gym owner.
- Infections: While it is more of a health concern than an injury, gym patrons risk becoming infected by poor sanitation practices at the gym. For example, skipping a preventative or interim step in the cleaning process during disinfection could lead to an illness due to that substance not being eliminated from equipment properly before being used again.
It is only natural for us to assume that any injury we sustain while working out is our fault and not the result of defective fitness equipment. Injured victims often take on the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages of their injuries. They do not know that they might be entitled to compensation for their injuries if proven that the accident was caused by negligence or defective products.
When you consider the cost of medical care, it makes absolute sense to evaluate all of your options and pursue the recovery of damages so that your physical recovery is not coupled with financial devastation. For example, were you injured while at the gym? We would be happy to help you explore your options and investigate the matter on your behalf.
We can research the implied warranty, identify problems with the defective product and ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for the defective design or malfunctioning product.
In addition, our law firm can ensure that you recover damages due to the manufacturer's lack of reasonable care to ensure your safety before selling their defective fitness equipment.
Gym Injuries You Might Not Be Liable for
When you've been injured, the first thing to consider is whether the accident resulted from personal negligence, the gym's failure, or an equipment manufacturer.
The following types of accidents are all examples of cases in which negligence is a contributing factor:
- Fitness machine malfunctions, and you are injured as a result.
- Treadmills, stair machines, elliptical machines, and other fitness equipment may fail or be designed poorly.
- A defective treadmill belt or sudden and unexpected change in the resistance of an elliptical machine could result in an injury, and you may be able to recover compensation from the equipment manufacturer.
- A defect in a weight machine causes your injury. Most weight machines operate using a pulley system and a weight stack adjusted by moving the pin to the desired weight.
- If a cable snaps during the middle of your set, you could be injured by the cable.
- You trip or fall due to gym clutter. It is the responsibility of gym employees to ensure that the areas accessed by members are kept clean and free of hazards. For example, if a member leaves free weights scattered on the ground, they may be directly responsible if another member trips. Still, gym employees ultimately have to make sure that public areas are kept free of hazards.
- A defect in your home gym or home fitness machine results in an injury. Home fitness products can cause harm if they are manufactured with defects, and you have the right to seek compensation should any machine you've purchased fail to perform its intended purpose.
What to Do Following an Injury With a Piece of Exercise Sports Equipment
The only real way to know whether you have a personal injury claim is to investigate the matter and seek the advice of an experienced and reputable personal injury lawyer. Providing as much information as possible will increase your chances of recovery and make it easier for your attorney to build your case.
When you've been injured, make sure you document everything and take pictures of the defective fitness equipment that you were using when you were injured, the surrounding area, and your injuries themselves. There may be evidence in those photos that an attorney can use, which you may have overlooked.
Ensure that you do not admit fault for an injury as this can be used against you and seek prompt medical care. Should you not see a doctor within a reasonable timeframe, the defense will claim that your injuries are not serious or question whether they resulted from a different accident that did not occur at the gym or while using the defective equipment.
When seeking medical treatment, be sure to keep copies of test results and other medical documents that can be used to make your case. It is also best not to wait before beginning an investigation or building a lawsuit due to limits on the time you have following an injury to file a claim.
Filing a Strict Liability Case
Injured victims can file a strict liability compensation case against a sports equipment manufacturer or vendor that designed, constructed, marketed, or sold a product unsuitable for the product's intended use. These product liability cases are often based on a risk liability issue for the manufacturer or distributor.
Under civil tort law, strict liability does not require identifying who is at fault. Instead, the plaintiff recovered monetary compensation without proving all those at fault (defendants) knew or should have known they were manufacturing or selling defective sports equipment.
Hire a Fitness Equipment Defect Lawyer to Resolve a Compensation Claim: Free Consultation
Did defective fitness equipment lead to your injuries or the death of a loved one? The product liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure you receive maximum financial compensation.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for more information and to schedule a free initial consultation. One of our seasoned attorneys will take the time to answer any questions that you might have, perform our investigation to determine which parties may be liable for your injuries, and advise you on what steps to take next.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury claims, medical malpractice cases, and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until our law firm resolves your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team concerning your case on defective products remains private through an attorney-client relationship.