Spokane Medical Research

Liability Waivers. Part 1

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Well-written, effective liability waivers can protect your club from liability for injuries resulting from negligence in most states.

Liability risks abound in the health and fitness industry. The following are just a few of the many recent cases that clearly illustrate the financial impact of liability risks, and the need for a risk-reduction program and liability waiver.

A 21-year-old University of Arizona student diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) suffered cardiac arrest while on an exercise cycle at the student recreation center. She suffered permanent damage when the staff member in charge called 911 but failed to perform CPR. Jurors awarded her a total of $5 million, plus another $100,000 to her mother for loss of consortium.

Recently, an adult male suffered a heart attack and died while working out on cardiovascular equipment at Sports & Fitness Clubs of America in Broward County, Fla. His wife and three surviving children have sued the club for $15 million, alleging negligence in failing to properly train employees to respond to an emergency and failing to have a defibrillator on hand.

Implementing a strong risk-reduction program as part of a comprehensive risk-management program is the most desirable step toward controlling the enormous financial risks associated with such cases. However, even an excellent risk-reduction program will not eliminate all accidents or risks. Thus, an indispensable aspect of any risk-management plan is transferring risks from a facility or service provider to others. The liability waiver, or release, is one tool to achieve this.

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