A 22 year old woman has been awarded £4,862 after damaging her ankle in a spinning class at the gym.

She had informed the gym instructor that it was her first class and that she had not taken part in spinning classes at any other gym.

Despite this, the instructor did not give her any advice about how to use the equipment or discuss safety issues that might arise.

Her foot slipped and she hurt her ankle

Ten minutes into the class, the instructor told the members to simulate a hill climb. As the woman was peddling her foot slipped and went between the peddle and the bike, injuring her ankle.

She had to wear backslab plaster cast for nine days then her right leg was placed in an aircast boot. She needed physiotherapy and rehab sessions and was still in pain six months later.

She was unable to go swimming which had been a regular pastime of hers. She also had to cancel an annual skiing holiday and sometimes had to leave work or not go in at all because of the pain of the injury.

She was expected to fully recover within 18 months.

She said the instructor was negligent

She brought action against the instructor saying she had been negligent in

  • Not providing any instructions to new members of the class causing a foreseeable risk that someone could be injured
  • Failing to tell her where the brake was and how to stop the bike
  • Failing to realise the dangers of not giving someone an induction before they took the class
  • Failing to have a system to instruct new members how to use the bikes
  • Failing to ensure she would be reasonably safe to use the gym premises and equipment

The judge agreed with the woman

The instructor disputed liability and argued there had been an alternative version of events. She said that she knew there was a duty of care and she had not breached that duty. She said that the woman had actually been injured by her own negligence in failing to listen to the instructions provided.

The judge decided that the claimant’s story was more believable because it corresponded with an account of the accident on the night in the gym’s accident report book.

She was awarded £4,862 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.