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Gym Liability: An Exercise on Civility

October 6, 2021

Gyms and health clubs are often not aware of all the potential liabilities to which they can be exposed. To reduce exposure, policies and procedures are a must, along with regular inspections, repairs and employee training. What can get a gym in trouble?

Lack of Maintenance


  • Slip and falls can result from foreign substances including sweat, oil from massage therapy rooms, soap and other substances from saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis, swimming pools, ice baths, and/or improperly maintained drains.
  • Trip and falls can result from objects such as towels, gym bags, water bottles, etc., that are left on the floor by clients. Thresholds and expansion joints can play a part too if left unchecked.
  • Not having visible warning signs.


Lack of Employee Training


  • Provide adequate training and instruction on how to perform exercises, massages, stretches, or any other services to guard against potential claims including negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligence supervision, vicarious liability, sexual assault and more.      

Spas and/or medispas have to be particularly aware of potential claims that may arise from infections from manicures, pedicures and eyebrow removals, allergic reactions to products, as well as licensing issues.      

Gyms that have a juice or smoothie bar should be aware of potential liability arising from food services, including foodborne illnesses.      

Liability for infectious diseases and Covid-19 related claims are difficult to prove because it is difficult for a plaintiff to trace exposure, and causation cannot be based on a mere possibility.

Lack of Written Agreements with Manufacturers, Distributors, and/or Installers


  • Gyms should make sure to have written agreements with each vendor, so that there is a potential to transfer liability in the event of an unfortunate accident or injury.

These are just a few things gyms should be aware of in order to limit liability and defend against potential claims.

If you have any questions and/or particular issues you need assistance with, our Hospitality, Retail and Premises Liability Group is available to assist: hospitality@kubickidraper.com.

We also welcome the opportunity to present our complimentary gym liability webinar to you and your team. For more information, contact us at info@kubickidraper.com.

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