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Past Newsletters

2024 and 2023

April 2024


Multi-Million Dollar Jury Verdicts and Settlements


Four cases are summarized - two are jury verdicts ($46 million and $14.5 million) and two are settlements ($35 million and $4.1 million)


January 2024 


Independent Contractors Versus Employees


Nelson v. Kaufman

October 2023


Fitness Program and Facility Supervision


Four cases are summarized – two that deal with program supervision failures (group exercise and personal training)

and two that address facility supervision failures (fitness facility daycare center and high school locker room) 

July 2023


Legal Duties Toward Invitees: A Review of Case Law

Cases: Richards v. Lifetime Fitness, Inc. (spotlight case)

Additional cases:

Lik v. LA Fitness, Inc.

Crossing-Lyons v. Town Sports International, Inc.

Grijalva v. Bally Total Fitness

Anast v. LTF Club

April 2023


Fitness Facility Orientation: Informing New Participants of Their Safety Responsibilities

Case: Bennett v. Biernacki, et al.

January 2023


1) The Del Castillo and Cooksey Cases: An Analysis of State Dietetics Practice Acts and First Amendment Speech Rights

2) New Certified Fitness Safety Manager (CFSM) Ron Betta Launches Fit Pro Safety

Cases: Del Castillo v. Secretary, Florida Department of Health and Cooksey v. Futrell (both cases involve wellness professionals who were practicing dietetics without a license (Florida and North Carolina cases, respectively). 


October 2022


1)Anti-Discrimination Laws: Part 2

2)New ACSM CEC Course: Law for Fitness Managers      

Cases: Waller v. Blast Fitness Group, LLC and Cormier v. PF Fitness-Midland, LLC


July 2022


1)Anti-Discrimination Laws: Part 1

2)How Would You Prevent this Title III ADA Case?

Case: Class v. Towson University (Trial Court and Appellate Court Cases Described) 


April 2022


1)Risk Management Strategies for Group Exercise Programs: Part 2

2)Proper Hiring, Training, and Supervision of Group Exercise Leaders (GELs)

Cases: Webster v. Claremont Yoga and Marchese v. Gamble


January 2022


1) Three NEW Educational Opportunities in 2022 including two "free" webinars in February 

2) Risk Management Strategies for Group Exercise Programs: Part 1

Cases: Honeycutt v. Meridian Sports Club (Scheck v. Soul Cycle was also briefly described) 


October 2021


An Analysis of Gross Negligence Cases Involving Exercise Professionals and Fitness Facilities

Cases: Two cases involving exercise professionals (Assaf Blecher v. 24 Hour Fitness and David Stevens and Gallant v. Hilton Hotels Corp.) and two cases involving fitness facilities (Chavez v. 24 Hour Fitness and Grebing v. 24 Hour Fitness).

July 2021


a) Why are Exertional heat Injures Still Occurring?

b) Risk Management: Isn't It Time to be Proactive Versus Reactive

Case: Lee v. Louisiana Board of Trustees for State College (additional heat injury cases were also described in this issue)

April 2021


The Need for Legal/Risk Management Education

This issue described:

a) The new textbook-- Law for Fitness Managers and Exercise Professionals, published by the Fitness Law Academy, LLC

b) Two NEW educational courses that accompany the new textbook: 1) Faculty Training Course, and 2) CEC/CEU Self-Study Course

c) New Certification -- Certified Fitness Safety Manager -- offered to those who successfully complete the CEC/CEU course

January 2021


State AED Statutes: Do You Know Your State’s Requirements?


Boggus obo Casey v. Texas Racquet & Spa, Inc. (additional cases were also described in the article)


October 2020


Distinguishing “Legal” and Professional” Scope of Practice: Part 2


Cooksey v. Futrell and Sosa-Gaines v. Capital Fitness (both deal with crossing the line into a licensed practice (i.e., dietetics in Cooksey and chiropractic medicine in Sosa-Gaines)

July 2020


Distinguishing “Legal” and Professional” Scope of Practice: Part 1

Bartlett v. Push to Walk (injury to a 36-year-old quadriplegic; grossly negligent instruction by an exercise professional)

April 2020


COVID-19 Pandemic: Responses to Legal Liability Questions from Newsletter Subscribers (co-author: Savanna Jackson Mapelli, JD)

Part I – Questions from Subscribers

Part II – Liability: Virtual Exercise Programs

Part III –Liability: Re-Opening Fitness Facilities


a) Pecora v. Fitness Intl., LLC (MRSA case, no liability of defendant)

b) Tynes v. Buccaneers Limited Partnership ($20 million MRSA case that was settled for an undisclosed amount)


January 2020


Article: The Link between the Lack of Practical Skills and Legal Liability: Part 2


a) Gallant v. Hilton Hotels Corp. (Kettlebell class injury; spacing recommendations were not followed)

b) Mellon v. Crunch (injury to personal trainer client due to improper instruction of an exercise with a bench that was 2-3 feet high)


October 2019


The Link between the Lack of Practical Skills and Legal Liability: Part 1

Butler v. Saville et al. (injury to a personal trainer client, age 62, due to negligent instruction of an exercise with a BOSU ball; $750,000 settlement)

July 2019


a) HIT Versus HIIT: Are There Injury and Legal Liability Differences?

b) Risk Management Success Story by Dr. Tiffany Esmat

a) Proffitt v. Global Fitness Holdings, LLC et al. (client of first personal training session suffered exertional rhabdomyolysis due to high intensity workout involving squat exercises; case was settled)

b) Horowitz v. Luxury Hotels International of Puerto Rico, Inc. (first-time indoor cycling participant suffered exertional rhabdomyolysis – several negligent claims)

April 2019


Distinguishing Standards of Care and Standards of Practice


Covenant Health System v. Barnett (plaintiff injured due to improper instruction/supervision of step test at a community health fair sponsored by the defendant – ACSM’s Guidelines served as evidence to show the standard of care was not met)

January 2019


a) Minimizing Legal Liability Exposures: Risk Management Strategies that Work!

b) Distinguishing Muscle Soreness and Pain

Howard v. Missouri Bone and Joint Center (college football player suffered a severe and permanent back injury while performing squats as part of an assessment-- the athletic trainer told him “no pain, no gain” and to continue the reps after the initial injury).


October 2018


a) Identifying Legal Liability Exposures

b) Risk Management Success Story by Tina Topalian, MS, RD, MBA

Crossing-Lyons v, Towns Sport International, Inc. (client of a personal fitness trainer trips and falls on a weight belt that was left on the floor – waiver was ineffective in protecting the fitness facility)

July 2018


a) Exercise, Exercise Equipment Injuries Rise Significantly

b) Risk Management Success Story by Christine Timberlake, Program Manager at Rock Steady Boxing, Inc.

D’Amico v. LA Fitness (injury due to an intensive workout instructed by a personal fitness trainer; defendants violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act – deceptive advertising regarding qualifications of trainers)

April 2018


Preventing Treadmill Injuries and Subsequent Litigation

a) Jimenez v. 24 Hour Fitness (fitness participant sustained catastrophic head injury when she fell off a treadmill hitting her head on exposed steel foot of a leg exercise machine only 3 feet, 10 inches behind the treadmill – defendant was grossly negligent for knowing it did not meeting spacing requirements)

b) Additional treadmill cases: Corrigan v. MuscleMakers, Inc. and Guerra v. Howard Beach Fitness Center and Gold’s Gym

January 2018


a) Indoor Cycling Injuries in the News

b) Readers of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal Respond to Our Article on Pre-Activity Screening Procedures

Indoor cycling injury cases: Stelluti v. Casapenn Enterprises, LLC and Scheck v. Soul Cycle East 83rd Street, LLC – both involved injuries to participants due improper instruction

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