Fitness & Sports Clubs petitions federal court to hear injury case by Pa. man

By Jon Campisi | May 29, 2013

A lawyer representing LA Fitness in a personal injury claim initiated by a Delaware

County man have petitioned the federal court in Philadelphia to hear the case.

Attorney Norman W. Briggs, of the Philadelphia-based Briggs Law Office, filed a notice of removal on May 24 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking to transfer a civil action from state court to the federal venue.

The underlying complaint was initiated on April 18 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Philadelphia attorney Ramon A. Arreola on behalf of Upper Darby, Pa. resident Aristotle Gouliaberis.

The plaintiff claims that on Oct. 25, 2011, while using a LifeStyle CBI Crossover fitness machine at the LA Fitness location in Springfield, Pa., he was struck on the head by the device after it broke and/or malfunctioned.

As a result of the incident, the suit claims, Gouliaberis sustained a head laceration and other head, neck and back injuries, as well as a concussion, post-concussion syndrome and other contusions and bruises to his body.

The plaintiff alleges that he has suffered both physical and mental pain and anguish as a result of the incident, as well as personal trauma and a loss of the ability to engage in the normal pursuits and activities of daily living.

He also claims he has incurred steep medical expenses as a result of his hospitalization and doctors’ treatment.

The defense attorney wrote in the removal petition that while the state court civil action states the plaintiff seeks damages not in excess of $50,000, which is the arbitration limit in a Pennsylvania court, either party has the right to seek an appeal of the arbitration award and request a trial, at which point the plaintiff would not be limited to any cap on damages.

The defendants named in the suit are the LA Fitness location in Springfield, where the alleged incident occurred, as well as California-based Fitness & Sports Clubs LLC, which is what LA Fitness changed its name to last June, according to the removal notice.

The state case ID number is 130402626 and the federal case number is 2:13-cv-02912-JHS.

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