Lifetime Fitness Sued After 40 Foot Fall

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A typical climbing wall at a Lifetime Fitness.

A Lifetime Fitness in Lovi, Michigan is being sued after a customer fell 40 feet from the top of their climbing wall.

“On Feb. 17, 2014, David Alvarez accompanied his wife and daughter to Lifetime Fitness in Novi to utilize its climbing wall; none had every climbed the wall before,” according to Moss and Colella, the law firm representing Alvarez. “Upon arrival at Lifetime, they signed a standard recreational waiver releasing Lifetime of all claims of negligence.”

According to the lawsuit, an employee watched as Alvarez got into his harness backwards, failed to hook it up properly and climbed up the wall.

Once at the top, he asked how to get down and was told “just let go,” according to the lawsuit originally filed in Oakland County Circuit Court in 2014. After letting go, the harness failed and he fell to the ground suffering serious injuries, according to the lawsuit.

An Oakland County Circuit Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in June 2015, stating there wasn’t evidence of gross negligence, but the state Appeals Court reversed that decision last week. The case will now return to the Oakland County Circuit Court for litigation where a pretrial hearing is scheduled for January.

The Chanhassen, Minnesota-based company, had slowed its expansion of new centers during the economic downturn a few years ago but is now adding new locations after being sold to a private equity group for $4 billion.