Can I Sue My Gym for Getting Me Sick?
Because bacteria, fungi, and viruses thrive in wet areas, gyms are undoubtedly a hot bed of infection, exposing patrons to a variety of ailments, such as athlete's foot and MRSA infections, on a consistent basis.
When pools and showers go unwashed, and cardio machines and weights are skipped during a wipe down, the problem festers, creating a greater risk of injury.
Unfortunately, this lack of care seems to be a problem at many gyms across the nation. And unfortunately, you likely can't even sue a gym for letting it happen.
This is because most gym memberships come with a release of liability, with you agreeing not to hold the gym responsible for its negligent behavior.
So while a gym has a duty to keep the premises safe, which arguably includes ensuring that viruses and bacteria don't propagate, you can't sue them for injuries caused by their failure to fulfill this responsibility.
The main exception to this is if you can prove your gym was grossly negligent at maintaining sanitary conditions, as the law does not allow parties to contract out of liability for gross negligence.
However, this is a high burden to meet.
Even though you likely can't sue a gym for causing a MRSA infection, you may be able to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
In many counties, gyms and health spas are regulated by local health ordinances, requiring the facility to be cleaned and disinfected a certain amount of times per day.
Additionally, those with pools must adhere to local and state laws detailing disinfection and other health standards.
So while you can't sue a gym for a MRSA infection or a fungal outbreak, you can report it to local health authorities, who will investigate the situation.
- Be Sure Exercise Is All You Get at the Gym (New York Times)
- Woman Sues Crunch Fitness For Pole Dancing Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
- How to Negotiate a Gym Membership Contract: Top 5 Tips (FindLaw's Common Law)