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Philip Odett’s Client Found Not Liable at Arbitration

July 25, 2018

Philip J. Odett represented a fitness gym located in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.  Plaintiff alleged serious and permanent injuries while using a machine in the gym.  Specifically, plaintiff alleged injuries to both of his legs, neck and back.  As the case progressed, Odett discovered plaintiff’s wife used the machine immediately before plaintiff’s incident without incident.  Odett deposed plaintiff and plaintiff conceded his wife did not encounter any issues with the gym equipment prior to the incident.  Plaintiff also conceded he did not report his incident until a few days after the occurrence. 

Odett appeared for a mandatory arbitration in Bergen County and argued his client was not on notice of any alleged conditions with the piece of equipment that allegedly malfunctioned.  Odett also argued plaintiff’s wife used the machine immediately prior to plaintiff using the machine and she did not report any issues.  Plaintiff argued the gym was on notice of the condition and failed to properly maintain the gym equipment.   Plaintiff also argued there was an “out of order” sign on the equipment prior to plaintiff’s incident, but the sign was not present at the time of the incident.  In response to plaintiff’s arguments, Odett argued plaintiff failed to submit any evidence to establish the gym had actual or constructive notice of the alleged defect. 

The arbitrator agreed with Odett’s position and found no liability on the part of the gym.  Plaintiff did not file a trial de novo and the case was dismissed with prejudice as to the gym. 

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