This fitness industry case involves a slip-and-fall incident in a shower at a fitness club on the west coast. The plaintiff is a thirty-eight-year-old woman who was a new member at the health club. She alleges that there was insufficient rubber matting in a locker room shower. She said that water from the shower made the floor wet and slippery, causing her to fall as she exited the shower. She suffered serious injuries, including a broken wrist and head trauma. Due to her injuries, the plaintiff, who is a personal trainer and fencing instructor, could not work for twelve weeks. She lost considerable income and incurred extensive medical expenses. The defense asserts that the configuration of the rubber matting in the shower area appears sufficient based on any applicable industry standards.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. What is your experience operating a sports club?
- 2. What safety measures typically are taken in the shower/locker room to prevent any accidents?
Expert Witness Response E-007343
I have extensive experience managing fitness clubs, and I have been to mediation for numerous locker room slip-and-fall cases over the years. Typical safety measures taken by fitness centers in the shower/locker room to prevent fall accidents include installation of non-skid tiles and rubber mats, regular inspection by locker room attendants, placement of caution signs when cleaning the floor, and attendants regularly mopping wet floors. It is interesting to note that the surface beneath the rubber mat is also of significant importance, from my point of view. If the floor is ceramic tile, it should be of a certain slip coefficient. Additionally, if the tiles are not glazed and are of a certain size, there would be absolutely no need for rubber matting. Floor surfacing material needs to be carefully chosen so that it will not be slippery when wet. Numerous examples of appropriate non-slip tiles and rubber matting are being used across the industry.
This expert has been managing health and fitness clubs for nearly 15 years. As general manager for New York Sports Club, he oversaw and supervised all departments with approximately 60 employees. As general manager of multiple Equinox Fitness locations, he was responsible for all club operations, overseeing more than 150 employees and managing annual revenue of more than $13 million. He created and standardized a club action plan for safety that was implemented at all 40 Equinox locations.