Can a Fitness Center Child Care Program Be Liable for a Child’s Injury?March 27, 2017 | Category: Child Injuries, Personal Injury | Share
As a society, we are becoming more health-conscious as evidenced by the increasing popularity of fitness centers. When parents work out, their children may also be enjoying such things as tumbling or rock climbing. If not, they may be in fitness-center-provided child care. Child care centers in fitness centers, unfortunately, are not necessarily subject to state health and safety regulations.
Fitness center child care licensing
Every state licensing department dictates how, and if, a fitness center’s child care program needs to be licensed or regulated. Many states exempt drop-in or short-term care if parents are on the premises, and the care time is limited. Some states classify the child care facilities as babysitting and do not require a license. Florida only makes exemptions to its child care licensing requirements (ss. 402.301-402.319) as it relates to screening child care personnel by church or parochial schools.
It is standard practice for many healthcare centers that offer child care to ask the parents to sign a liability form purporting to waive responsibility for injury to the child while under the care of the fitness center. Even so, the mere fact that parents may have signed a liability waiver may not necessarily release the facility for acts of negligence should a child be injured.
Courts in many states have not enforced the waivers should the facility fail to take reasonable care that a prudent professional would take under the circumstances and/or there was gross negligence.
It is reasonable for parents to expect that the fitness facilities and the caregivers at the facilities take extra caution to ensure the children they are supervising are not injured. They should also expect that the child-to-staff member ratio is appropriate. Adequate supervision should include the ability of a staff member to have his/her eyes on a child under his/her care at all times.
ABC15 in Arizona reported in August 2016 of a lawsuit filed by a family against Life Time Fitness gyms when it was discovered its 4-year-old was video-taped in the shower by an employee who allegedly uploaded the video to a porn site. The suit claims that Life Time Fitness was negligent in its hiring practices by not obtaining finger print clearance.
“If your child has been injured at a fitness facility child care center as the result of negligence on the part of the facility, contact an experienced Fort Myers personal injury lawyer at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.,” said Attorney Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Child Injuries Attorney,Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.