Palm Beach County Court Rules That Mobile Gym Company, Not the Vehicle’s Insurer, Is Liable for Workout Injuries Sustained in Mobile Gym Truck
It sounds simple enough; if you get injured in a car accident, file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the car that hit you, and if you get injured in an accident at a place of business, file a premises liability lawsuit against the company that operates the business. Real life is not always that simple, though; it is not always obvious who the defendant should be. What if the car that hit you belonged to a company? What if the driver owned the car but was using it to perform his or her job duties, such as for a rideshare or food delivery service? What if the car itself was a place of business? A Palm Beach premises liability lawyer can help if you have been injured in an accident that may or may not belong to the category of premises liability.
Details of the Mobile Fitness Centers of America Lawsuit
Garrett Nodell is the proprietor of Mobile Fitness Centers of America, a company which turns pickup trucks into “mobile gyms” by anchoring fitness equipment to the bed of the truck. Despite the name, the vehicles are not actually in motion while acting as gyms; instead, they park near a residence and use its electricity to power the workout equipment. Natalie Deutsch began working for Nodell as a fitness trainer in 2007 when she was 16 years old. In 2019, Deutsch was working out in one of Nodell’s mobile gyms, with Nodell coaching her. The mobile gym was parked outside Deutsch’s house and was using the electricity supply from her house. Nodell instructed Deutsch to lift 195 pounds using the squat machine, despite that she told him it was beyond her capability to lift that much. As a result of lifting such a heavy load using only her legs, she injured her knee badly enough to require surgery.
Deutsch filed lawsuits against Nodell and against Mobile Fitness Centers of America, both of which ended with the parties agreeing to settle. She also filed a lawsuit against her car insurance company, Geico, because it had rejected her claim related to the accident. She had tried to have her claim covered under uninsured motorist coverage. A court in Palm Beach County ruled that the mobile gym where she was injured could not be considered an uninsured motorist, because it was not being used as a vehicle at the time of the incident.
The Bottom Line
As more businesses deviate from the old brick and mortar model, the definition of “premises” in a premises liability case might not always be clear-cut. A personal injury lawyer can help you decide whom, if anyone, you should sue in relation to your injuries.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
Premises liability accidents can happen at any kind of business, even if it is a mobile one. Contact Palm Beach Gardens premises liability attorneys at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Injury Lawyers for a consultation.