Johnson v. Fitness International, LLC
Plaintiff Timothy Johnson was weightlifting on a leg press designed and manufactured by Brunswick Corporation at a LA Fitness club when he was injured when the weight carriage allegedly crashed down on him with 630 pounds of weights, causing injury to his lumbar spine and left knee. Plaintiff sued Brunswick and LA Fitness for strict products liability, gross negligence and premises liability and denied his signature on the waiver of liability.
After the Yoka | Smith team hired a handwriting expert, plaintiff changed his testimony on the stand at trial, admitting that he signed the membership agreement. Because of the admission, the Court granted LA Fitness’ nonsuit in part as to negligence, leaving the gross negligence question for the jury. Plaintiff claimed gross negligence based on the wear on the leg press. LA Fitness denied that it was grossly negligent and pointed to the routine maintenance and inspection, and the video taken two days after the incident by its technician showing that the stop plates were working post-incident.
After deliberating for a little over an hour, the jury returned with a defense verdict for LA Fitness on question one as to gross negligence.