LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report   2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2014

Complete Defense Verdict: A St. Louis City Court Jury Clears CrossFit of All Liability in a $3 Million Back Injury Suit Involving "The Deadlift" Exercise

Following a week-long trial, a Missouri City Court jury cleared CrossFit Inc. and its affiliate gym (No Shelter CrossFit) of all liability in a $3 million suit involving “the deadlift” exercise. Plaintiff, a personal injury lawyer, alleged that she was pushed beyond her limits during her first and only CrossFit workout class causing her to suffer a herniated disc and requiring back surgery. CrossFit is a popular guided exercise program with affiliate gyms in 142 countries.

Plaintiff claimed that CrossFit was negligent in failing to develop an appropriate exercise training program for its affiliates, and in failing to supervise its affiliates. Plaintiff also claimed that CrossFit’s affiliate gym was negligent in failing to warn Plaintiff of the dangers associated with the exercise programming and in failing to appropriately train, supervise, and coach Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s experts claimed that the program is extreme and dangerous, and attacked CrossFit’s affiliate model. The defense presented evidence showing that the CrossFit program stresses safety and tailors its programming to the individual. The defense also presented evidence that Plaintiff did not disclose a prior back condition to the affiliate coach, Tom Jones.

Following less than two hours of deliberation, the jury delivered a defense verdict rejecting claims that CrossFit is dangerous or extreme.

The defense was represented by Kevin Williams and Anna Idelevich of our office and Nathan Leming of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice LLC. Plaintiff was represented by Robert Sullivan of Sullivan Law, Kansas City, Missouri.

The case is captioned Julia Kerr v. No Shelter CrossFit, et al., case number 1622-CC00829, in Missouri’s 22nd Judicial Circuit Court.

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