Legal Concerns of Personal Trainers

A look at the legal dangers facing personal trainers if their clients become injured.

This paper looks at legal proceedings which have been taken against personal trainers following physical injuries to their clients. By using case studies, the writer examines the risks and exposure that personal trainers face when helping others perform exercise workouts.
“In 1996, the case of Feeney vs. Manhattan Sports Club, Inc. was brought before the Supreme Court of New York. The plaintiff had joined the sports facility and signed an agreement, which clearly stated that the facility and its employees were not qualified to “diagnose, examine or treat any medical condition, or make any other such evaluation or recommendation.” The agreement also warned that new members should see a doctor before using the facility.
The plaintiff had a history of shoulder problem and had dislocated his shoulder several times. When he began using the facility, he was assigned a personal trainer, who was an employee of the club. When he asked the trainer if he could use free weights without hurting his shoulder, the trainer allegedly told him that he would have “no problem.” The plaintiff later suffered an injury while lifting weights at the club.”