A beginner student called by an instructor to participate in a sword demonstration instead got an accidental blade through the eye that pierced his skull and left him blind, paralyzed and brain-damaged, according to a $9 million lawsuit filed against the teacher and his school in Oregon.
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A State Supreme Court jury has awarded $980,000 to a woman for her pain and suffering after discs in her neck were damaged during a workout at a local gym.
The total award was $1.4 million, including $400,000 for past pain and suffering and $1 million for future pain and suffering. The woman was found 30% responsible for the damage, leaving the gym to absorb 70% of the award.
The woman’s attorney said that after his client underwent a cervical fusion to remove degenerated discs in her neck, doctors instructed her to stay fit and active to help avoid any future neck issues. She hired a personal trainer at the gym after explaining her surgical history and restrictions.
The trainer designed a workout that involved a series of three strenuous exercises performed back to back with no rest said the attorney. His client questioned the workout, and the trainer assured her it was safe.
The woman awoke that night in excruciating pain and has never recovered, claiming the workout caused permanent damage to the discs above and below the original fusion, requiring an additional fusion as well as the installation of a titanium plate and titanium rods.
The woman’s surgeon testified that there is no surgery available to address all of the damage caused by the workout or to relieve all of her pain. As a result, the attorney said, she will have headaches, chronic pain in her neck and radiating arm pain for the rest of her life as well as severe and permanent restrictions on the range of motion in her neck.
SFIC INSURANCE EXPERT COMMENTS…
The claim outlined in the attached article is a professional liability claim based on the professional services rendered by the personal trainer. All independent trainers need to carry their own professional liability policy to protect themselves from these types of claims and all fitness facilities need to make sure that their policies carry full limits for professional liability.
If you employ independent contractors in your studio, they must carry their own insurance and name your facility as additional insured. You should also verify that your trainers are certified by a reputable licensing body and are current with their continuing education requirements.
This claim is severe because of a pre-existing condition and question of the appropriateness of the workout to the client’s medical history. In your facility, you set the rules for how your trainers should work with clients that have pre-existing conditions and how they should respond if a client expresses concerns about the safety or appropriateness of a workout. Make sure all your trainers follow your guidelines even if some (or all) of your trainers are independent.
Your class is packed. The school is booming. In the midst of all of the excitement, a 12-year student turns and run across the floor to the water fountain.
As she hits full stride, a 17-year old leadership team member demonstrates a full speed spin hook kick. At full power and velocity, his heel smashes into her face. She requires complete facial reconstructive surgery.
What would you do? What could you do? This accident happened over a decade ago to a school in the DC area.
It’s a prominent school, and it’s still in business today because it was fully insured. Are you? Could your school survive an incident like this?
To help school owners get a better understanding of liability and how to reduce it, we’re joined by Jennifer Urmston, who is the National Account Manager at Sports and Fitness Insurance Corporation (SFIC).
Most schools shop for the cheapest martial arts insurance. That could be a major disaster if a school is faced with any of the lawsuits described in this 12-minute interview. When it comes to martial arts school insurance cost, there are some important variables that you will learn about in this series.
Most of us think about insurance for our martial arts school, but what about martial arts instructor insurance? Mixed martial arts insurance or even self-defense instructor insurance?
Read more: How to Choose Martial Arts Liability Insurance Coverage