Faulty Exercise Ball Injures Player
Back in December 2012 the long-suffering Sacramento Kings, who have occupied the basement of the NBA standings for the last few years, added another dubious chapter to their team’s history when a faulty exercise ball injured a key player.
Recently, the team filed a $4 million product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the exercise ball that allegedly injured one of the Kings’ players in a bizarre accident last fall.
The injured player, Francisco Garcia, was bench pressing two large dumbbells while balancing on the exercise ball when the commonly used piece of equipment allegedly burst, causing Garcia to fall and break his wrist.
Due to his personal injury, Garcia missed four months of the regular season. According to sources, he had just signed a five-year contract extension for $29.6 million. The lawsuit filed by lawyers seeks $4 million because this figure represents the amount of compensation paid to Garcia by the Kings during his time on the injured reserve.
Sources indicate that the Kings are suing both the manufacturer and the distributor of the Gymnic “Burst Resistant Plus” Stability Ball.
The complaint alleges that the distributor of the ball had marketed the particular exercise performed by Garcia as a suitable use for the equipment. Further, the personal injury lawsuit claims that the defendants promised the ball could hold up to 600 pounds and was “burst resistant.”
After the incident, the Kings co-owner, Joe Maloof, emailed all 29 other NBA teams and recommended they stop using the Gymnic exercise ball. According to Maloof, many other NBA teams subsequently removed the exercise balls from their training rooms.
In response to the lawsuit, the manufacturer now includes phrasing on the packaging of its exercise balls that warns customers to avoid using the product in conjunction with weight lifting. The Kings have dismissed this warning as inconsequential to the outcome of their case.
This Kings’ exercise ball saga was not the only defective product lawsuit due to faulty workout equipment in the news this week. In Buffalo, New York, a jury awarded $66 million to a woman after she was injured when an exercise machine fell on her in 2004.
The defendant in the case, Cybex International, had manufactured the faulty machine. According to sources, the woman, who had previously worked as a physical therapy assistant, was left paralyzed after the incident.
While this woman’s injury is more extreme than the Garcia’s broken wrist, dangerous accidents with exercise equipment occur all too often. The proliferation of more and more workout equipment use by inexperienced customers at increasingly crowded gyms has heightened the risk of exercise accidents and the need for defective product lawyers.
If you have been injured by a malfunctioning piece of exercise equipment, or the negligent actions of someone else, call a local injury lawyer today to learn more about your legal rights.