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Andrew B. Kaufman

Andrew Kaufman Obtains Summary Judgement Premised On The Assumption Of Risk Doctrine For Long Island Health Club

The plaintiff in this action alleged that she fell backwards and fractured both of her wrists while performing plyometric box jumping exercises at a Life Clubs, Inc., a health club facility in Long Island. This exercise involves repeatedly jumping onto and off of a raised platform. The plaintiff claimed that the rubber tiled flooring in the area where she was doing this exercise was uneven and caused the plyometric box to wobble when she landed on it. She alleged that this wobbling caused her to lose her balance and fall backwards.

In moving for summary judgment, we submitted substantial evidence that the plaintiff assumed the risk of sustaining her injuries. This included the plaintiff’s deposition testimony that she exercised at this gym several times per week, and had done plyometric jumping in the exact area where she fell on several prior occasions, both with and without a personal trainer. She also testified that she felt the box wobble on prior occasions and immediately before her fall. She did not use a spotter or any protective mats. The Supreme Court, Nassau County held that this evidence established that the plaintiff assumed the risk of sustaining her injuries.

We also demonstrated that the rubber-tiled floor where she fell was reasonably safe for the performance of plyometric exercises by submitting an expert affidavit of a licensed professional engineer. Although the plaintiff proffered an affidavit of a sports and recreation expert, we convinced the court that the expert’s opinions were speculative and conclusory.