Horvitz & Levy persuaded the Court of Appeal to affirm a summary judgment rejecting a gymgoer’s premises liability claim.
Plaintiff Christina Bermudez attended a “bootcamp” training class at her gym. The instructors divided the participants into two teams for a relay race and plaintiff fell during the final leg of the race. Plaintiff sued the owner of the gym, Crunch Holdings, LLC, alleging that she severely injured herself in the fall and that defendant was grossly negligent by instructing her to run at competitive speeds in a room that was undersized. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant. Plaintiff appealed.
Defendant retained Horvitz & Levy to preserve the judgment challenged on appeal. The Court of Appeal adopted Horvitz & Levy’s argument that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate a causal link between plaintiff’s injury and any negligence by defendant. Plaintiff had testified at her deposition that the person she raced against was about 2 or 3 feet away from her just before the accident and she had “no idea” what caused her to fall. The Court of Appeal rejected plaintiff’s attempt to submit an arguably conflicting declaration and concluded there was no foundation for plaintiff’s expert testimony that she needed to perform collision avoidance maneuvers. The Court of Appeal also rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the trial court abused its discretion when denying her request for a continuance so that she could obtain additional evidence. The Court of Appeal concluded that the denial was not prejudicial because none of the additional evidence she sought to present tended to establish the cause of her fall.