Treadmills and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Treadmills and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Treadmills and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Treadmills and Traumatic Brain Injuries

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento traumatic brain injury attorney. Most of us think of going to the gym as one of the best things we can do to improve our health and longevity.

What About When Things Go Wrong at the Gym?

On an annual basis, many Americans fall off equipment, drop weights or over-exert themselves, resulting in broken bones, torn muscles and injured backs. Some people even die.

Work Out Equipment

Work out equipment – whether in the gym or at home – carries with it inherent risks. Just last year, U.S. Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, of Nevada, suffered serious eye trauma after an exercise band made of latex snapped while he was working out at his Las Vegas residence. He later filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the exercise band.

Exercise Equipment Injury Statistics

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than 459,000 injuries involving exercise equipment – typically treadmills – are treated in our emergency rooms each year.

Despite the dangers, consumers are pretty much on their own in avoiding an injury while working out. Local and state officials do not go out and inspect how a gym or a fitness center places their equipment. They don’t monitor whether the gym’s elliptical machines, treadmills or dumbbells are safe for use by the public. Here in Sacramento, for example, city fire officicals provide inspections annually but only look for gym equipment blocking the fire exits.

Lawsuit Filed By Sacramento Woman Injured on Fitness Center Treadmill

A lawsuit was filed by a woman from south Sacramento against one of our country’s largest fitness chains. This case has the potential to change the way fitness centers operate, at least in respect to how they place their work out equipment in their facilities.

Background of Plaintiff’s Case

In 2011, Etelvina Jimenez, who was 60-years-old at the time of her injury, fainted while on a treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness. Jimenez fell backward, hitting her head. The blow to her head caused her skull to fracture in multiple places. Sadly, she spent close to four months in Sacramento area hospitals. She had to undergo multiple surgeries to relieve pressure on her skull and to remove dangerous blood clots.

Lawsuit Seeks $3.8 Million in Damages

Jimenez filed a lawsuit against the mega fitness change for $3.8 million in damages to recover her wage loss and future long-term care. The long-term care includes extensive physical therapy, household “chore assistance” and neuropsychology counseling. The lawsuit was recently amended to add additional damages to the complaint accusing 24 Hour Fitness of not having an adequate safety zone in the location behind the treadmill.

Incident Happened at the Florin Road Location

The tragic accident happened as Jimenez, who worked for Mission Linen Supply, was walking on a 24 Hour Fitness gym treadmill at the Florin Road location, where she was a member. She suffered an apparent incident of what is called, “syncope” (loss of consciousness or fainting spell), according to medical findings. While the treadmill motor was still running, Jimenez fell off the back of the machine, striking her head and losing consciousness. Instead of falling onto the fitness center’s  “shock-absorbing” floor surface, it’s believed her head hit the metal box of a leg exercise machine which caused significant brain trauma, according to witness statements and medical findings. Jimenez remains impaired by the incident and awaits a decision on her lawsuit for gross negligence against the fitness chain.

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Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento traumatic brain inury attorney. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

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