Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wagner v. LTF Club Operations Co., Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

February 4, 2019

ROBERT WAGNER, Plaintiff,
v.
LTF CLUB OPERATIONS COMPANY, INC. d/b/a LIFE TIME FITNESS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          R. Brooke Jackson Judge

         This order addresses defendant's motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 23. For the reasons below, the motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         Robert Wagner asserts a premises liability claim against the corporation that has done business as Life Time Fitness (“Life Time”). Compl., ECF No. 1 at ¶¶9-14. Life Time operates health and fitness clubs throughout the United States. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 23 at ¶1. Upon becoming a member of Life Time, Mr. Wagner signed Life Time's Member Usage Agreement (“Agreement”), which contained both “Waiver of Liability” and “Assumption of Risk” provisions. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 23 at ¶¶4-5. Mr. Wagner alleges that he was injured at a Life Time facility in Westminster, Colorado when he stepped onto a treadmill that was already in motion. Compl., ECF No. 1 at ¶7.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court may grant summary judgment if “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the burden to show that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). The nonmoving party must “designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id. at 324. A fact is material “if under the substantive law it is essential to the proper disposition of the claim.” Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A material fact is genuine if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The Court will examine the factual record and make reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Concrete Works of Colorado, Inc. v. City & Cty. of Denver, 36 F.3d 1513, 1517 (10th Cir. 1994).

         CONCLUSIONS

         A. Exculpatory Clause.

         The sufficiency and enforceability of an exculpatory clause is a question of law for the court. See Jones v. Dressel, 623 P.2d 370, 375 (Colo. 1981). The Colorado Supreme Court in Jones articulated four factors to use in determining whether an exculpatory clause is valid: “(1) the existence of a duty to the public; (2) the nature of the service performed; (3) whether the contract was fairly entered into; and (4) whether the intention of the parties is expressed in clear and unambiguous language.” Id. at 376.

         The parties agree that the first three factors are satisfied here. And that makes sense. Embedded in the first two Jones factors is a question of policy-namely, whether the ubiquity and consequence of the service at issue generates an additional duty to the public. Recreational facilities are not essential public services and owe no special duty to the public, and thus the first two Jones factors are satisfied. See Espinoza v. Arkansas Valley Adventures, LLC, 809 F.3d 1150, 1153 (10th Cir. 2016). Furthermore, the parties agree that the contract was fairly entered into, and that the exculpatory agreement meets the third Jones factor. However, the parties dispute the fourth element.

         Thus, I must decide whether the exculpatory intention of the parties is expressed in clear and unambiguous language in their agreement. Here, I find that Life Time's Agreement contains clear language indicating its intent to disclaim liability for its negligence. ECF No. 23-2, Ex. B.

         In bold, underlined, and capitalized text, the Agreement states that it is a “waiver of liability.” Id. at 2. In boldface font, the Agreement explains that the signer “agree[s] not to sue Life Time for, and waive, any claims . . . for any Injuries to [him or her] . . . which arise out of, result from, or are caused by any Ordinary NEGLIGENCE OF LIFE TIME.” Id. The next paragraph contains a detailed definition of negligence to provide the user a description of what sort of liability Life Time was disclaiming:

Negligence Claims include but are not limited to Life Time's (1) negligent design, construction . . ., repair, maintenance, operation, supervision, monitoring, or provision of Life Time Premises and Services; (2) negligent failure to warn of or remove a hazardous, unsafe, dangerous or defective condition; (3) ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.