Exercise … too risky? (NY)

Experts say that exercise is good for your health.  But those who participate as weekend warriors or regular gym rats know that exercise can also lead to injury.  In fact, injury is recognized as a common risk of sport.  As such, those of us who choose to exercise in the face of the risk, do so at our own peril. The plaintiff in Ramirez v. Lucille Roberts Health Clubs, Inc. found out that the courts may not be receptive to claims for common injuries associated with exercise.

Ramirez claimed that she was injured while attending one of the defendant gym’s step-aerobics classes.  The gym moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff had participated in over a hundred step-aerobics classes prior to the accident and assumed the associated risks.  The lower court granted the motion and the Second Department affirmed.  The Appellate Division held that someone voluntarily participating in a recreational activity assumes the commonly appreciated risks.  Given the plaintiff’s prior experience, the court found that the plaintiff knew the risks involved in exercising (presumably in a spandex leotard).

Special thanks to Georgia Stagias for her contribution.

For more information, contact Denise Fontana Ricci at dricci@wcmlaw.com.