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Personal Injury - Gym whilst under PT supervision

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    started a topic Personal Injury - Gym whilst under PT supervision

    Personal Injury - Gym whilst under PT supervision

    Hi, I am looking for some advise please.

    I hired a PT (Personal Trainer) at my local gym to help me get back into shape.

    Contract info was emailed to me although nothing was signed and training began the following day.

    A block of 10 sessions were paid for in total at a cost of £500 in cash

    Within this documentation supplied to me via email is a waiver concerning risks during training and that the PT cannot be held responsible for any injuries etc

    Also within the same documentation provided were the PTs obligations;

    These include to name but a few;

    Not sharing my own information as this is strictly confidential

    Completing a pre assessment questionnaire to assess a clients medical history and physical condition

    Verbally I advised the PT that I had suffered a broken knee many years ago, damage to my left elbow and lower back pain (sciatica)

    During our 5th training session the PT introduced 'Hack Squats (Quarter)' to strengthen my legs. This exercise was carried out on a 'free' bar bell, that meant I was total un-supported during the exercise.

    After one set of 10 repetitions the PT asked how I felt and I said was OK and happy with the existing weight and sub consciously I rusted that he knew what he was doing, so he increased the load on each side of the bar bell by 10kg on both sides!

    As soon as I took the weight on my shoulders I experienced a sudden and extremely painful shock in my lower back, so I immediately advised the PT that this was hurting and the weight was placed back onto the weight frame. As soon as the weight came of my shoulders, again I felt the same pain and I could hardly move.

    I immediately stopped any further training and had to be taken home as I could not drive. A friend came and collected me.

    I continued to advise my PT that I could not attend any further training sessions and that my back was bad, although he kept encouraging me to attend further sessions.

    He then asked for a copy of an old MRI scan I had had done approx 5 years ago which was related to the previous issue I had had with my lower back, and which he had been advised about before we began our training sessions together. He reviewed this and said he was worried about the situation.

    After 2 weeks I realised things were getting worse, not better, and visited my Dr and was prescribed a host of different pain killers.

    These did not help, so I went back to my Dr and the prescription was changed and more powerful medication prescribed. I asked for another MRI scan which was refused.

    A few days later I called an ambulance as the pain was excrutiating and furger MRI scan were completed (still no final results).

    I have subseqeuntly seen a Neuro surgeon who suspects sciatic nerve damage due to the load placed on my shoulders which compressed my spine.

    I have written to my PT and asked for a refund for the remaining 5 gym sessions, and explained in my email to him that the damage to my back has been caused by the weight increase during our training session and could he please therefore provide me with a refund which he did.

    That was 5 months ago, and I am still in terrible pain.

    I am now on Oral Morphine, Gabapetine, Zapian, and Moterfiene, yet still suffer horrible periods of extreme pain and have been back to hospital (via ambulance) due to the situation

    As a result I have bee unable to work (I am self employed as an IT consultant), and am unable to carry out normal duties without help, and cannot drive due to the pain and the medication

    During this period I have also found out that my PT has;

    Shared my data with the gym he works with despite not seeking my consent

    Confirmed that the PT did not complete a review of my pre existing medical problems and did not document or ask me to sign anything in relation to this assessment or indeed provide any documentations for signature prior to engaging with my train sessions

    Can I sue the PT for gross negligence considering the circumstances ;

    1. I should have never been asked to do hack squats with my back condition

    2. Aligned to this, why would a PT then subsequently increase the weight increasing the risk of futher damage to my back (which has happened)

    3. The PT did not document anything concerning my pre existing medical condition, or carry out any kind or review or ask for any medical support to allow training to start

    4. Despite sending me a contract nothing was ever signed

    5. Within the T +C's of the contract the PT has failed to follow his own obligations in that he has not completed a pre assessment questionnare with me, and has shared my personal data with the gym despite this being advised as being strictly private and confidential

    6. Despite knowing my back was agony, continued to encourage me to come back for further training sessions

    7. When approached for a refund, the wording used advised him that 'due to the damage caused during the training sessions with him, my back pain has resulted due to the increase in weight applied during the hack squat'. He subsequently provided a refund.

    Any help would be much appreciated

    Thank you
    Tags: None

  • Manxman
    And if he had seen(?) your medical records, all the more reason to question why you ended up injured!

    good luck.

    Leave a comment:

  • Manxman
    Ok -sounds like you're on top of it.

    I agree that I'm very surprised that a qualified PT would state that a squat and a hack squat can only be carried out on a machine(!). Of course, there are machines that mimic each exercise (a Hack squat machine for one) or you can use a rack. But you can certainly do both with just a barbell. (Obviously, the greater the weight the more sensible it would be to use a machine or rack, but with a bad back and knee you probably wouldn't be lifting heavy weights*).

    I'm sure a quick internet search or examination of weight training manuals etc would find many photos and illustrations of free weight hack squats with a barbell.

    * A 20kg increase in weight on the bar would be 25% of the bodyweight of an average man. That doesn't include the weight of the bar and any disks already on it. A lot for an inexperienced lifter with a bad back and bad knee.

    Leave a comment:

    Hi thanks MANXMAN.

    Solicitor has now brought in counsel to discuss next steps.

    They are extremely concerned that the PT has sworn on a statement of truth, and in that statement he states you can't do a hack or back squat without a special machine, which is a complete lie and really does bring into question his abilities as a PT. If he doesn't know how to use the equipment he clearly has no idea of the impact these exercises can have and is clearly not qualified to act as a PT.

    The PT has equally claimed to have produced a Training Plan but never did this, and now coincidentally says he has mislaid it. Yeah right, no he never produced one and the burden of proof will be on him to convince a judge (should it get as far as court which I suspect it will) as to the contents of this PT plan and why he would have deleted it.

    The PT has also confirmed in his statement of truth that he asked for and saw my medical records before starting my training which he clearly didn't and I can prove this by a chronological set of text messages where he requests my 'medical record' pertaining to my back after he injured it, not before.

    The PT has also lied about the number of sessions we actually had, which again can be proved, as well as the date he supplied his T+Cs.

    Basically everything pretty well in his statement to his insurers is a pack of lies.

    Counsel also believe they can go after the gym, as they failed to ensure gym members were trained in the use of the gym equipment and failed to ensure that their PTs created and kept a copy of client personal training plans.

    This is going to take time but my counsel seem quietly confident.

    Leave a comment:

  • Manxman
    Hi Nocab

    OK - glad it may have been of help but sounds like you are aware of the issue as to what exercise(s) it was (were).

    Good luck with legal advice. No doubt they'll advise about medical reports etc.

    Have you actually seen a physio to advise you about your injury history and what exercises may or may not be advisable? Where I live you can self-refer to a NHS physio (or via your GP). As a former NHS manager I'd recommend this, or you may wish to pay privately (c £50?) to see a specialist sports physio. Discuss with your lawyer so as not to prejudice any claim you may have though.

    I suffer from periodic episodes of lower back problems for over 40 years now and also still do quite a bit of weight-training. I know to be very careful about the weights I lift and what exercises I can do. I'm no expert, but if I recall your OP correctly I'd question whether your PT was sensible in increasing by the weight you mention, especially if you are inexperienced and have a history of injury. If you were using an Olympic bar that weighs 25kg itself before you put disks on it! A "standard" bar will be lighter but still feel heavy if you're new to weights.

    Good luck

    (Oh - I'm sorry I didn't join the forum last year when you first posted as I may have been of more help).

    EDIT: Yeah - a 20kg increase sounds like a rather large jump to me...
    Last edited by Manxman; 8th November 2019, 10:34:AM. Reason: Checked original post

    Leave a comment:

    Hi and many many thanks for this. Sorry for the late reply. You are indeed correct re the hack squat and the back squat. The PT has me doing both but the injury was caused by the wright on my shoulders. The PT has sworn in a statement that the gym does not have the necessary machines to do either exercise but I have written confirmation stating otherwise plus each exercise can be carried out using free weights which again the gym has. In both cases the PT has clearly not taken into account pre existing injuries to my knees and back yet claims to have reviewed my medical records prior to training beginning (again a lie which can be proved). He then claims to have created a training plan aligned to my aliments but has conveniently mislaid them ( another lie ). If he has deleted it was it deleted from the source ? If so and he emailed it where is the email and attached copy and equally how can he have done this when he says given he asks for my medical records 3 weeks after starting training !!

    his statement is hugely flawed and I will be discussing with a barrister shortly


    Leave a comment:

  • Manxman

    I'm a long time reader of these boards but haven't posted before.

    I've been following this thread since it started and I would just like to point something out to the OP which may be useful.

    In, I think, #28 the OP says they were having difficulty finding a solicitor to take this on because they'd been advised a "hack squat" was unlikely to result in back injury.

    This is probably correct. The OP persists in describing the offending exercise as a "hack squat" (presumably this is what the personal trainer told them) but what was described in the OP is not a hack squat. A "hack squat" is where the weighted barbell is held at arms length behind the back, the barbell being roughly level with the base of the buttocks. This exercise reduces the load on the back.

    The exercise described by the OP, where the barbell is supported on the shoulders behind the neck, is just an ordinary squat or "back squat". This can place an excessive load on the back depending on how low on the shoulders the bar is held. By persisting in referring to the exercise as a "hack squat", the OP may be inadvertently understating the risk of back injury the PT was asking them to take.

    What I'm not sure about is whether a hack squat might place greater stress on the knees than a back squat, which the PT may have been trying to avoid if they knew the OP had knee problems.

    The OP may be well advised to carry out some research on "hack" and "back" squats to confirm for themselves what I'm saying.

    If the PT described the exercise as a "hack squat", it might lead me to question whether they are qualified to supervise weight training sessions with somebody with an injury history.

    PS - I'm aware this post is late in the day, but hopefully it will assist the OP

    Leave a comment:

  • victorross
    I think the evidence of your medical statements will play an important part in your personal injury claim.

    Leave a comment:

    Hi once again thank you for you concise responses I really do value your opinions here. My concern is that my solicitor seems to be less than keen to expedite matters as I donít understand why they didnít approach both insurers at the same time rather than in sequence. I am concerned that they are just not really concerned with following this case through

    re evidence again I am not sure how this works so if I explain in summary maybe you could shed some light in the likely hood of this being followed up

    1 I employed (cash in hand) a PT to help me in the gym
    2 I advised of existing injuries he did not ask or record these
    3 exercises he supervised and got me to complete are retrospectively unwise for someone like me with knee and back issues
    4 the PT did not carry out a PARQ
    5 if he had carried out a PARQ he should have asked for medical advise before continuing any training with me
    6 I had previously broken my right knee am due annop on my left knee for torn cartilidge and have lower back disc degeneration
    7 exercise that caused damage was a hack squat
    8 after the incident the PT advised he would log in the accident book but didnt
    9 despite repeated attempts by me the club failed to log the accident
    10 as a result the club failed to lock down any supporting cctv footage
    11 the following day after the accident the PT text me to ask me how my back was showing he clearly knew I had a problem and later asked for medical reports !
    12 some weeks later when I wrote to him asking for a refund based on the increased weight he applied during this exercise which caused the damage to my back he provided a refund and did not deny that he caused this
    13 screen shots of me attempting to log my injury via the clubs 'contact us' webpage are then denied as being received by the club despite an acknowledgement screen confirming this was received
    14 since raising my complaint the club have cancelled my membership
    15 the club manager filled in an injury log form much later worded in such a way as to deny as responsibility from either the club or PT which I refused to sign
    16 the club have since equally been warned by the ICO of a failure to control the use of my data under GDPR regulations

    not sure if that is everything but that is the bulk of it that I can remember to date

    i hope this helps
    Last edited by NOCAB; 15th June 2019, 17:09:PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Peridot
    Hi NoCab,

    The pre action protocol applies to the claim and therefore the potential defendants will have 3mths in which to investigate before giving a decision on liability.
    If both your proposed defendants deny liability then your solicitor will have to take a view and possibly obtain a barristers opinion on the likelihood of you use the matter have to go to Court for a judge to decide.
    Any evidence and the proposed defendants disclosed documents will have to be considered to come to a decision whether to continue or advise against pursuing further.
    You have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to bring any claim. If the claim is worth pursuing then a claim form should be issued before that time limit. The Court would then make the decision. However, negotiations can continue up to the Court door.

    Leave a comment:

    Originally posted by NOCAB View Post
    Claim forms have been sent to the defendant, and it's been a month to date and we have not heard anything. My solicitor is going to chase this again.

    I have managed to obtain a contact within the Gym owners (HUT Group - legal team) and passed this on to my solicitor as we have requested evidence from them that their PTs actually have insurance and proof to support this. I have also provided my solicitor with proof of my normal earnings as a contractor, but as I haven't been able to look for work I haven't been able to earn anything!!!

    On the positive side, and after nearly 6 moths I am beginning to slowly feel some improvement but am still on strong medication which manages the pain and whilst on this I can't drive and have suffered other side effects which are not great....
    Not sure if anyone can add to this but in the hope of some further support I have a question and need some advise.

    My solicitor wrote to the Gym involved in my personal injury, but they have simply denied liability and now my solicitor has written to the PT's own insurer re the same, and now yet more time is being allowed for them to respond (25/07/2019). My concern here is that my solicitor seems to be doing very little re actually pursing my claim, and I am concerned that if the PT's insurer comes back denying liability as well, she will simply accept that position and not follow up. The solicitor seems very dis-interested in my case (or so it appears) and I do not want time limitations to kick in and not be able to follow up on this case, as the resultant injury has changed my life and I am in constant pain as a result. Sciatic nerve damage is incredibly painful, and nothing seems to be being done to support my case against the trainer.

    What should be happening and what should happen next if the PT's insurer denies liability (which is more than likely) given the PT and club have closed doors to protect themselves, cancelled my gym membership and failed to follow up on the their own internal processes i.e. save internal CCTV recordings to show the incident, and or record the incident in the injury log. Basically they have not done a thing except deny everything.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

    Leave a comment:

    Can anyone suggest a solicitor that would be able and willing to take on my case for a personal injury. To date I just seem to have been met with blatant incompetence where the company that had agreed to take on my case did absolutely nothing because they were not willing to pay for a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwich_Pharmacal_order despite a very favourable 'no win no fee' agreement. I then approached another firm and they stated they have a very low risk appetite approach and then despite stating they deal with 'accidents in the gym, stated that a 'hack squat' (which is a leg strengthening exercise) was unlikely to hurt someones back and didn't want to take the case. If they were in any way aware of gym exercise and indeed what a hack squat, would realise that a hack squat places massive load on the lower back, so clearly they are not 'gym specialists' despite their claims.

    If anyone can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it as I am still (after 7 months) on a cocktail of drugs and in considerable pain as a result of a PT's actions and incompetence .

    The gym have refused to log the injury despite repeat attempts to get them to do so, and as a result of my repeat requests have now cancelled my membership.

    There seems to be a real 'closed shop' approach to this situation at the Hale Country Club and Spa, which is hindering my claim and I need some professional help to get this resolved. They have to date equally not paid back my in-house credit on my membership card and not refunded my membership payment which was taken after they cancelled my membership. Subsequent payments have now been stopped.

    I have attended my GP and Hospital as a result of my injury many times and as mentioned am constantly on drugs and have a witness that took me home that will confirm the request for the injury to be logged and I have subsequent screen shots that support a further request for this injury to be logged.

    I followed up with a SAR and to my surprise the injury was still not logged and further information of mine that should have been present was not provided, and info held was wrong.

    Also as a result of my online log of my injury I have been contacted by a number of personal injury lawyers indicating data sharing despite the gym denying this activity.

    The Hut Group are being extremely defensive and simply creating blockers stopping me from pursing my legal rights to seek compensation from their trainer.

    They state tihs is nothing to do with them, yet declare the PT's on their website as being 'theirs', and the PT provides his contact address via their website as being at the Hale Country Club and Spa, so on one hand the club denies any involvement yet their website (again I have copies) and the PT's contact details would suggest otherwise.

    Either the Club or the Trainer must be liable.

    Please can someone help I am at a loss to know what to do.

    Leave a comment:

    Hi, not sure what on earth is going on but now my gym membership has been cancelled. It all feels very suspicious as they are refusing to provide the instructors contact details. I am surprised that an organisation of this size is prepared to treat its customers this way. Basically do as you are told and everything is fine, but have an issue with their service and they do this. I loved this place and have been a member ever since it opened and this is the first issue I have had, and clearly their customers do not come first.

    I have written to their CEO in the hope he can see some sense. It's equally upsetting as the ability to use the jacuzzi there was helping (slowly) with my back recovery which is the cause of this issue. I put in a SAR request after logging my injury with them via their contact us web page. This apparently was never received (I have screen shots to show otherwise) and immediately after doing this I started getting calls from personal injury lawyers. Obviously I thought there must be some kind of data breach, but they denied this, so I asked for a SAR to see what data they held for me. The returned info was scant and against the THG policy, and did not include my logged personal injury report which all feels a little suspicious to me.

    (1) They seem to be protecting their PT
    (2) Deny a lack of data control

    Result remove the problem by penalising me, a loyal customer for over 10 years!!!

    Leave a comment:

  • Kati
    Originally posted by Peridot View Post
    I would look back over the previous thread mentioned in post #3 or amalgamate the posts? Kati Amethyst ??
    threads merged xx

    Leave a comment:

  • Peridot
    I think the issue is as we have previously pointed out the special damages such as loss of earnings flow from the general damages so the injury itself. If medical evidence supports the injury being as a result of the gym injury then the loss of earnings come into play. If there is a long standing problem that has been exacerbated by this incident then the loss of earnings will only be for the period the injury was exacerbated for. I would look back over the previous thread mentioned in post #3 or amalgamate the posts? Kati Amethyst ??

    Leave a comment:

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