Member Exclusive

Injury Liability

Injuries are bound to occur at your health club. Be prepared with a plan to handle these situations in a way that will limit your club’s exposure to costly liability lawsuits.

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When members visit you club, unfortunately, there is a chance that they could end up injuring themselves.

In a health club setting, liability risks can stem from four general categories:

  1. Maintaining safe conditions in all areas that constitute the “premises.” The premises includes areas such as parking lots, locker rooms, courts, exercise areas, and pool areas;
  2. Providing exercise programs that are appropriate to members’ physical conditions and abilities;
  3. Instructing and supervising members during exercise sessions; and
  4. Responding appropriately to accidents and medical emergencies.

IHRSA’s Injury Liability briefing paper contains a wealth of knowledge on each of these areas; it explains how you can use this information to keep your members safe and shield your business from any harmful legal lawsuits.

“Courts have recognized that health club owners, like any business owners, owe their guests a duty of reasonable care. This duty includes inspection of the premises for dangerous conditions, and correction of such conditions or warnings to guests of any potential dangers. A member or guest of a club can sue to recover damages resulting from an injury. If the club is found liable, the financial damage awards can be devastating.”

Helen Durkin, JD, Executive Vice President of Public Policy


IHRSA's public policy team works with legal experts to produce valuable resources for our members, but it’s important to keep in mind that the information in this document should not be considered legal advice.

If you have questions after reading this briefing paper, you can always email IHRSA to see if we have additional information, but sometimes your best next step will be to seek the advice of a qualified attorney. If it does come to that, feel free to share the briefing paper with your attorney. It could cut down on your attorney’s bill since it starts the research process for them.