Earlier this month, an appellate court in California heard a case involving a woman who was injured while working out at a 24-Hour Fitness location. According to the court’s opinion, the woman was injured when the back panel of a workout machine came loose and fell, hitting her in the head. As a result, she suffered a traumatic brain injury. She filed suit against the gym, alleging several claims. However, relevant to this appeal was the woman’s claim of gross negligence.
The Case at Trial
At trial, 24-Hour Fitness claimed that they were not grossly negligent because they had hired a technician to perform routine maintenance on all the facility’s machines. However, 24-Hour Fitness was not able to bring this employee to court because he no longer worked for the company and could not be located. Instead, they had two other employees testify, but these employees did not have the exact knowledge of when the machine at issue was last serviced.
The gym argued for early dismissal, claiming that there was no possible way it could be grossly negligent under the facts given. The plaintiff argued that, absent evidence of specific maintenance that was performed on the machine, the court should allow the case to continue forward to trial. The judge sided with the defendant gym and dismissed the case before it reached trial.
On Appeal, the Plaintiff Succeeds
The plaintiff appealed her case to the next highest court, making essentially the same arguments. This time, the court agreed with her, allowing her case to continue forward to trial. The court explained that, since the gym failed to present specific evidence of when the machine was last serviced, there was the possibility that 24-Hour Fitness could be found to have been grossly negligent.
It is important to keep in mind that the appellate court was not saying that the gym was grossly negligent, only that it was reasonable to think that it could be found grossly negligent by a judge or jury.
Of course, this case arose in California, where there are different laws from here in Florida. However, the basic legal principles underlying a premises liability claim are very similar, if not identical. If you have questions about a Florida slip-and-fall case, contact a dedicated Florida accident attorney today.
Have You Been Involved in a Florida Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a slip-and-fall accident or involved in any other type of premises liability situation, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover the costs associated with your injuries. To learn more about what elements must be proven at trial in order to be successful, call one of the dedicated Florida personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. Here at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we have the experience and skill necessary to represent you in your premises liability case. Call 877-499-HURT today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Speeding Accidents in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, June 29, 2015
Understanding Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, June 29, 2015