Friday, October 10, 2014

Seigneur v. National Fitness Institute case brief summary

Seigneur v. National Fitness Institute case brief summary

F: P signed membership contract with D which includes exculpatory clause.
P was injured while undergoing an initial evaluation at a fitness club.
P filed a negligence action against D, and D contends that exculpatory clause was valid and enforceable.

R: In situation where P voluntarily applied for membership in a private organization that is not served for public interest and its service is not essential in nature, nor did have greater bargaining power over P, then exculpatory clause is enforceable.

1. To possess a decisivie bargaining advantage over a customer, the service offered must be deemed essential in nature.
Courts found that the furnishing of gym or health spa services is not an activity of great public importance nor of a practical necessity.

C: in favor of D

Co: 3 exceptions that makes an exculpatory clause unenforceable (BIP)
i) when the party protected by the clause intentionally causes harm or engages in acts of reckless, wanton, or gross negligence;
ii) when the bargaining power of one party to the contract is so grossly unequal so as to put that party at the mercy of the other’s negligence
iii) when the transaction involves the public interest
interacts poorly with comparative negligence (same as the consent in intentional torts)
where there is expres agreement made btw parties where by would be P release D, that contract is generally enforceable

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