Exercise for health is great, but watch out for injuries at the gym!

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Regular exercise is essential to good health. However Nebraskans who exercise at a health club or gym must exercise extra vigilance to prevent injury as a result of a recent Nebraska Supreme Court decision.

In Palmer v Lakeside Wellness Center d/b/a Alegent Health and Precor, Inc., 281 Neb. 780, (Decided June 24, 2011) The Nebraska Supreme court ruled that a waiver that was part of a health club membership application released a health club from ordinary negligence.

The Palmer case makes it difficult for consumers to sue a health club for injuries sustained at a health club or gym. 

The court used that rule to uphold dismissal of a claim made by a woman who was injured after unknowingly stepping on to a moving treadmill and being thrown against an elliptical machine. The court also dismissed a gross negligence claim because plaintiff had never previously reported concerns about poor lighting concerns and the fact that the elliptical machines were placed so close to the treadmills.

The Palmer case makes it difficult for consumers to sue a health club for injuries sustained at a health club or gym. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and others at the gym.

  1. If you see something unsafe, tell management.
  2. Be careful gettting on and getting off treadmills. Make sure the treadmill is not running before you get on the treadmill.
  3. Make sure your shoes are tied when jogging on a treadmill.
  4. Don’t overexert yourself.

Also keep a copy of any waivers or releases of liability you sign when applying for gym membership. The langauge in your waiver might be different than the langauage of the waiver in the Palmer case. If you are injured due to no fault of your own at a health club you should at least take that waiver into an experienced attorney to see if you can make a case for negligence.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett, Moore & Rehm, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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