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CrossFit Injuries: Can You Sue?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 14, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

CrossFit is growing increasingly popular, with gyms catering to fans of the high-intensity workouts opening across the country.

But along with CrossFit's fitness benefits may also come the risk of injury. A 2012 Ohio State study on CrossFit workouts that found although tests subject showed a marked improvement in fitness, several of the subjects were unable to continue with the study due to "overuse or injury," reports Bloomberg Businessweek. That study is now the subject of multiple lawsuits by both the owner of the gym whose members took part in the study as well as CrossFit Inc., the company who owns the CrossFit brand.

But regardless of whether CrossFit is more dangerous than other workouts, the question remains: If you're injured while doing CrossFit, can you sue?

Did You Sign a Liability Waiver?

Most gyms require that members sign a release form before joining that usually includes a liability waiver for certain injuries that occur at the gym. These waivers are generally enforceable, however there are limitations.

For example, a liability waiver may not release the gym from all liability for any injury that occurs. This type of waiver is usually found overly broad and unenforceable. Gym waivers, such as this CrossFit liability waiver template found in The CrossFit Journal generally seek to waive liability for lawsuits for injuries involving negligence by memorializing the member's assumption of the risk.

Though these waivers may still be challenged in an injury lawsuit, a signed waiver may make it more difficult to recover for injuries caused by negligence. However, injuries caused by reckless or intentional conduct are generally not covered by liability waivers.

Premises Liability / Product Liability Claims

In addition to injuries caused by workouts, injuries that may be caused by unsafe conditions in a gym may lead to a lawsuit against the gym's owners or tenants under the theory of premises liability. Premises liability holds the owners or occupiers of property liable for injuries caused by unsafe conditions on their property.

If you are injured due to malfunctioning or poorly designed workout equipment you may also have a product liability claim.

Learn more about personal injury lawsuits at FindLaw's Learn About the Law section on Accidents and Injuries.


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