LA Fitness moves to transfer injury claim to federal court

By Jon Campisi | Sep 5, 2012

Attorneys for a local LA Fitness branch being sued by a Montgomery County man who

Attorneys for a local LA Fitness branch being sued by a Montgomery County man who

alleges he became injured after slipping on the locker room floor when employees turned the lights out on him are moving to have the case transferred to federal court.

Philadelphia lawyer Norman W. Briggs, who represents LA Fitness International LLC and the LA Fitness Sports Club at 2020 County Line Road in Huntingdon Valley, Pa., filed a Notice of Removal with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Aug. 31 seeking to transfer a suit initiated by Boris Nikolaevsky from state court to the federal venue.

Nikolaevsky, of Hatboro, Pa., filed suit against the fitness chain in late July at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The complaint, which had been filed by Philadelphia attorneys Mark Yurovsky and Jeffrey J. Goldin, alleges that the plaintiff sustained back injuries, contusions, a shock to his nerves and other injuries, after he slipped and fell on the wet locker room floor of the gym back in early August 2010.

The plaintiff claims the incident occurred after LA Fitness employees turned out the lights and locked the doors, actions that caused him to fall on the floor.

Nikolaevsky’s suit further asserts that because he became stranded in the dark facility, the plaintiff accidentally set off the business’s security alarm when he attempted to exit the premises, an act that caused the police to show up.

In addition to his physical injuries, the plaintiff claims that the incident caused him much humiliation and embarrassment.

Nikolaevsky also claims that because of the incident, he had to return to the gym the following morning to retrieve some of his belongings that had been left behind, only to discover that some of his property, including his watch, was missing.

The complaint states that LA Fitness was negligent in failing to “properly ascertain the hazardous condition, and causing the lights to be turned off prior to ascertaining that the facility had no more patrons on the premises.”

The lawsuit contains counts of negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.

In the removal notice, LA Fitness attorney Briggs says that the litigation belongs in the U.S. District Court because the parties are from different states, and also because the amount of damages sought by the plaintiff exceed the jurisdictional limits at state court.

The state court case ID number is 120704239.

The federal case number is 2:12-cv-05022-PBT.

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