United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
William J. Martinez United States District Judge
AnneMichelle Johnson (“Plaintiff”) brings this
premises liability action against Defendant Gold's Gym
Rockies, LLC (“Defendant”) pursuant to the
Colorado Premises Liability Act (“CPLA”; Colo.
Rev. Stat. §13-21-115) for back injuries she allegedly
sustained when she attempted to use a broken rowing machine.
(ECF No. 7.) This matter is before the Court on
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (the
“Motion”; ECF No. 28). For the reasons set forth
below, the Court grants the Motion.
following factual summary, viewed in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party, is largely based on the parties'
briefs on the Motion and documents submitted in support.
These facts are undisputed unless attributed to a party.
operates fitness clubs in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (ECF
No. 28 at 1.) Among these clubs is “Gold's Gym
Colorado Springs (Rustic Hills)” (the
“Gym”). (ECF No. 11 at 2, ¶ 3.) Plaintiff
joined the Gym on May 25, 2015, by executing the
“Gold's Gym Membership Agreement” (the
“Membership Agreement”; ECF No. 28-1 at 3-4).
(ECF No. 28 at 1.) The Membership Agreement contained two
exculpatory provisions which provided, in pertinent part, as
WAIVER OF LIABILITY: MEMBER
ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE USE OF GOLD'S GYM'S FACILITIES
[AND] EQUIPMENT . . . INVOLVES AN INHERENT RISK OF PERSONAL
INJURY TO MEMBER. . . . MEMBER VOLUNTARILY AGREES TO ASSUME
ALL RISKS OF PERSONAL INJURY TO MEMBER . . . AND WAIVES ANY
AND ALL CLAIMS OR ACTIONS THAT MEMBER MAY HAVE AGAINST
GOLD'S GYM . . . FOR ANY SUCH PERSONAL INJURY . . .
INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION: (I) INJURIES ARISING FROM USE
OF ANY EXERCISE EQUIPMENT [OR] MACHINES . . .; (III)
INJURIES ARISING FROM GOLD'S GYM'S NEGLIGENCE,
WHETHER DIRECT OR INDIRECT; (IV) INJURIES . . .
RESULTING FROM EXERCISING AT ANY GOLD'S GYM, INCLUDING .
. . SPRAINS, BROKEN BONES AND TORN OR DAMAGED MUSCLES,
LIGAMENTS OR TENDONS . . . .
ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND
INDEMNIFICATION: Member acknowledges that [ ]
Gold's Gym does not manufacture any of the fitness or
other equipment at its facilities . . .; accordingly, [ ]
Gold's Gym . . . shall [not] be held liable for any such
defective equipment. . . . Member shall indemnify Gold's
Gym . . . and save and hold [it] harmless against and pay on
behalf of or reimburse [Gold's Gym] as and when incurred
for any losses which [Gold's Gym] may suffer, sustain or
become subject to, as a result of, in connection with,
relating or incidental to or by virtue of any claim that is
the subject of the waiver set forth above.
(The “Exculpatory Provisions”; ECF No. 28-1 at 4
(emphasis in original).)
January 5, 2016, Plaintiff was exercising at the Gym when she
allegedly injured herself. The following is Plaintiff's
account of the events that led up to her alleged injury:
[Plaintiff] was alone in an area of exercise machines for
approximately 14 or 15 minutes, and sat down on a seated
cable rowing machine as part of her workout. She placed the
pin at her regular weight of 60 pounds, sat down on the
machine, put her feet in the stirrups, and pulled back
vigorously. The weight stack did not move, and she felt a pop
in her back.
[Plaintiff reduced the weight to 40 pounds and] pulled again,
with the weight stack again not moving. [Plaintiff] then took
the pin out, freeing the machine from the weight stack, and
pulled again in a seated position. The machine was freed from
the weight stack and the bar should have easily moved.
The bar did not move at all, and at that point [Plaintiff]
realized the machine was broken. . . . Shortly after this,
[Defendant's] employee came over to the seated cable
rowing machine and told Plaintiff that the machine was broken
and he was there to fix it.
(ECF Nos. 7 at 2, ¶¶ 7-8 & 29 at 2.) As a
result of her using the broken rowing machine, Plaintiff
alleges that she suffered severe back injuries. (ECF No. 7 at
2, ¶ 9.)
initially filed this action on December 19, 2017, in El Paso
County District Court. (ECF No. 1-1.) On January 8, 2018,
Defendant removed the action to this Court on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff's sole
claim against Defendant is brought pursuant to the CPLA,
whereby Plaintiff alleges that Defendant breached its duty to
exercise reasonable care. (ECF No. 7 at 3, ¶ 13.)
Defendant moved for summary judgment on August 23, 2018. (ECF
No. 28.) In the Motion, Defendant asserts that
Plaintiff's claim “is barred by the valid and
enforceable waiver of liability and assumption of the risk
provisions in Plaintiff's Membership ...