Can I sue CrossFit or my gym?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue CrossFit or my gym?

Can I sue CrossFit for my injuries, if my health
insurance has covered my medical bills? I’ve
had 2 injuries over the last year, for which I’ve
had 4 MRIs and a ton of other tests and have
been in physical therapy twice. I am currently
living with daily pain that affects my work and
quality of life. I never signed a liability waiver. In
fact, they sent out one for everyone to sign
after I already quit.

Asked on September 18, 2016 under Personal Injury, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Even without a waiver, you cannot sue them for injuries that are normal or reasonable or foreseeable consequences of this type of activity (e.g. overuse injuries, spraining or straining something, stress fractures) or which are due to your own fault (e.g. overexerting yourself when you were not in shape to work out so aggressively). The law bases liability, or the obligation to pay compensation, in personal injury cases on fault, or doing something intentionally wrongful or at least unreasonably careless (negligent). If you were injured because a trainer had you do a dangerous action, or because of faulty or unsafe equipment, you may be able to sue; but if again, you suffered just the sort of activities that come as a normal risk to this type of training, there is no compensation. 
To give an example: I practice karate. One of the styles I practiced used a ball of foot (toes pulled back) kick and practiced a lot on kicking pads and heavy bags. My toes were not flexible; I could not pull them back enough, and years of kicking things with my toes caused bad osteoarthritis in my right big toe. I can't sue my dojo becasuse a repetitive use injury or osteoarthritis is a normal risk of choosing to engage in this type of activity; the dojo and my sensei did nothing wrong and are liable.
In your case, if CrossFit was at fault, you can sue for 1) any medical costs not paid by your insurance; 2) lost wages, if any; and 3) and if you have suffered significant long-lasting disability or life impairment, some amount for "pain and suffering."

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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