CrossFit Inc Found At Fault In National Personal Injury Case

The national personal fitness company CrossFit Inc. was found at fault in a personal injury case in Kansas City MO, where a gym member was seriously injured whileattempting a deadlift.

Rob Sullivan of Sullivan Law LLC, a Kansas City, Missouri based personal injury law firm specializing in catastrophic personal injury cases on behalf of individuals and families, obtained the $400,000 jury verdict in favor of the gym member. It is the first case where the national company has been found liable for an injury suffered by a CrossFit member at one of the company’s 10,000 affiliate gyms.

The Jackson County MO jury returned the verdict against CrossFit, based in California, and its affiliate Sky’s Limit Fitness LLC. The suit was brought by gym member Jonas Barrish after he suffered a serious spinal injury while participating in the gym’s extreme fitness program.

Sullivan stated that their position during the trial was that CrossFit advocates conditioning that is extreme, involving very heavy weight lifting exercises that increase the risk of severe injury. Because of this type of conditioning program, Sullivan argued that CrossFit should not be marketed as suitable for everyone. He further noted that people such as his client need to be warned of the risks when they sign up.

Testimony in the case stated that Barrish, who is 36, was tried to do a single repetition deadlift of 350 pounds when he felt his back snap and he collapsed. Witnesses stated that a CrossFit coach tried to stretch out the man’s legs after he fell down, although Barrish stated that he could not feel his legs.

An MRI showed that Barrish suffered an extruded herniated disc, and the condition is known as cauda equine syndrome.

Our View

Our personal injury attorneys are glad that Sullivan was able to achieve justice in this serious personal injury case. He is a very effective and experienced attorney who we know well; our firm’s attorney Richard Shapiro co-counseled with Sullivan on a corporate indifference case a few years ago where the client was burned alive while cutting his grass on a Ryobi lawnmower. 

CrossFit gyms have a reputation for causing serious injuries, including lower back injuries, torn muscles, neck trauma, and broken bones. These serious personal injuries can cause large medical bills, lost wages and permanent physical disability.

Some experts say that the extreme fitness regimen advocated by CrossFit is too intense for the general public. If you have suffered an injury at a CrossFit gym, our personal injury attorneys are experienced in these types of cases.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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