Any guesses as to what percentage of the jury has tried to lose weight (unsuccessfully) or has spent a small fortune on diet plans and weight-loss schemes? Even if a prospective juror has been member of a health club, what are the chances that this person had a pleasant and satisfying experience at the club? Be honest now; what is our industry retention average?
In the court of public opinion, our industry is not the easiest to defend. Don’t take that personally; all I’m saying is that most people can’t relate or empathize with our industry. Some people are going to have preconceived ideas about personal trainers and health club operators. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. My point is this: If I am the plaintiff’s attorney, I will stack that jury with as many overweight secretaries, truck drivers and grandmas as possible. Coupled with the current trend of “runaway” juries awarding ridiculous sums of money, this case could be a nightmare. Oh, did I mention that this lawsuit was filed in New York? Trust me on this, the definition of “accountability” is somewhat different in this jurisdiction (no offense to my New York clients).
Please don’t misunderstand me. It is a tragedy that this death occurred. I feel badly for the victim’s family and hope something like this never happens again. However, the question of fault or negligence is not clear-cut. Who was ultimately “responsible” for knowing about possible side-effects of the supplements taken? Who is responsible for any food or supplement we take? Was the victim’s collapse and ultimate death foreseeable? Was it the effects of a particular supplement that caused the death? Did Crunch and its trainer profess to their clients that they were registered dietitians or nutrition counselors? There are too many questions and not enough answers to formulate a decision on guilt or innocence at this point.
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