Multi-State Team Obtains Appellate Confirmation of Summary Judgment on Behalf of National Fitness Chains

November 2023

Pittsburgh Partner Jessica Lucas, Philadelphia Associate D. Wesley Meehan, and Charleston Partner Peter Siachos successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of clients, two national fitness center chains, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The decision was subsequently affirmed by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

The plaintiff asserted negligence causes of action against the clients based upon injuries that she suffered in the clients’ fitness center. The plaintiff claimed that her injuries were caused by a broken rowing machine that was left on the gym floor. In the Court of Common Pleas, the Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani team successfully argued that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by an exculpatory provision set forth in the plaintiff’s membership agreement, which barred claims for injuries arising from the use of the gym’s equipment. The court granted GRSM's motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that (1) the agreement was invalid as a matter of law, (2) the exculpatory provision did not cover the plaintiff’s injuries, and (3) the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because the exculpatory provision was against public policy. After the parties submitted briefs, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the trial court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

The clients are pleased to have obtained this impressive result in a notoriously challenging venue.