The Treadmill

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Q: Four times a week, if not more, I would exercise at the club.  Every time, I would use a treadmill.  One day, I had been standing in line beside a treadmill for almost two minutes, talking with another patron.  Finally, I got my turn.  The treadmill had not been turned off.  Stepping on, I lost my balance and fell.

A: The club’s attorney will argue that you assumed – voluntarily took on – the risk that was inherent in using this running treadmill.  You would have a very uphill battle to try to show that the club created or had notice of a dangerous condition.  Although it would help your case if other health clubs have treadmills that automatically turn off, when the previous patron steps off, I have never heard that they do.

The doctrine of primary assumption of risk provides that a voluntary participant in a sporting or recreational activity consents to those commonly appreciated risks that are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation.

It seems that the risks of using this treadmill were obvious and apparent.  You consented to them.  By making the conditions as safe as they appeared to be, the club had discharged its duty of care.  Unless there is something you have not told me, you are likely to be barred from recovery – because of the doctrine of primary assumption of risk.  But see an attorney, to be sure.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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