Summary Judgment Reversed On Issue Of Gross Negligence In Action Against Fitness Facility.
Plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury when a cross-trainer cable struck her in the head at a 24-Hour Fitness, the defendant. Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the written release of liability in the membership agreement was a complete defense to plaintiff’s claims for negligence and premises liability. As to the products liability claim, 24 Hour argued it was not subject to liability because it was a service provider and not in the chain of distribution. With regard to gross negligence, 24 Hour argued plaintiff could not show extreme departure from any ordinary standard of care because it employed a technician to routinely inspect and perform preventative maintenance on the equipment. For several reasons, the appellate court concluded there is a triable issue of fact as to whether or not 24 Hour was grossly negligent; those reasons include “whether failure to comply with fitness equipment owner’s manual constituted an extreme departure from the ordinary standard of care.” Summary judgment was reversed. The opinion also concludes the trial court erred in denying plaintiff’s request for a continuance of the motion. (Chavez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (Cal. App. Sixth Dist.; July 8, 2015) 238 Cal.App.4th 632 [189 Cal.Rptr.3d 449].)