Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms Summary Judgment Secured by Rawle Attorneys John C. McMeekin II and David Samlin Upholding the Validity and Enforceability of A Release and Waiver in a Gym Contract

Published on February 23, 2022

On February 18, 2022, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a published opinion affirming the summary judgment in Milshteyn v. Fitness International, et al., No. 452 EDA 2021 (Pa. Super., Feb, 18, 2022) based upon a release and waiver in the LA Fitness Membership Agreement that was secured by Rawle Trial Attorneys John C. McMeekin II and David J. Samlin of summary judgment.

In the Milshteyn appeal, Rawle Appellate Lawyers Carl D. Buchholz, III and Angela Heim argued the Pennsylvania Superior Court to reject the Plaintiffs’ arguments that (1)  the “Release and Waiver of Liability” clause was invalid and/or unenforceable as a “contract of adhesion.  Relying primarily on Toro v. Fitness Int’l LLC, 150 A.3d 968 (Pa. Super. 2016) (an earlier appeal also handled by Rawle & Henderson), the Court explained that exculpatory provisions in contracts are generally enforceable if they do not contravene public policy, are between persons relating entirely to their own private affairs, and are not contracts of adhesion.

As they did previously, in Toro, Rawle & Henderson successfully persuaded the Pennsylvania Superior Court that the Fitness International  “Release and Waiver of Liability” at issue met all three criteria for enforceability because  the Membership Agreement was not against public policy as “going to the gym” was a voluntary recreational activity, and Plaintiffs “were under no compulsion to complete” the release and waiver if they did not agree with it.

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