On March 29, IHRSA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Goscinski testified before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee raising concerns about Senate Bill 291. This legislation, as drafted, would eliminate the use of liability waivers for health and fitness businesses throughout the state.
Mike pointed out that if passed in its current form, the bill would severely restrict, if not eliminate, the liability insurance coverage market for health clubs, gyms, and studios in Maryland, impacting some 700 facilities serving more than one million consumers and 30,000 employees.
He also highlighted that in earlier testimony about the legislation, the risk addressed by its authors appeared to be large-scale public facilities such as indoor recreation and pool facilities for birthday parties and other public events. Mike noted that gyms and studios are not open to children without meeting an age requirement or parental supervision, typically involve a signed acknowledgement of physical activity with risks, and are restricted to the general public, unlike other facilities. He further addressed that the bill exempts public pools, gyms, and other facilities while singling out private facilities.
“Enactment of the bill without revision would cause the small, independent clubs throughout the state to close or require price increases that make their health benefits inaccessible for many communities they are specifically designed to serve,” he said.
Read Mike’s full testimony below. You can also watch the entire hearing, including testimony from Mike and other industry representatives from Maryland—Justin Drummond, COO of PF Growth Partners, Mark Miller, COO of Merritt Clubs, and Keith Rawlings, Owner of The Arena Club.