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March 2016

Houston Team Obtains Defense Verdict in Landmark Fitness Case

Gordon & Rees Houston attorneys Steven Selbe and Andrew Scott, aided by Houston legal assistant Cindy McCauley, obtained a defense verdict for CrossFit, Inc. and its affiliate, P3 CrossFit, following a weeklong jury trial in Harris County District Court.

The case, the first of its kind to be asserted against CrossFit, Inc., involved claims that the plaintiff suffered exertional rhabdomyolysis – the breakdown of muscle from extreme physical exertion – as a result of participating in a complimentary introductory workout at P3 CrossFit in Houston. At issue was whether Plaintiff’s symptoms and subsequent hospital stay were the result of the introductory workout and whether the workout was reasonable. In addition to claims of negligence, the plaintiff also made claims of gross negligence and deceptive practices, which claims carried potential exposure to punitive damages, treble damages and attorneys’ fees.   

Because P3 CrossFit was insured by the CrossFit Risk Retention Group, CrossFit had the opportunity to defend its affiliate and CrossFit, Inc. in front of a jury. CrossFit, Inc. formed the Risk Retention Group largely to be able to take such cases to trial when warranted. No settlement offer was made to Plaintiff at any time. After a week of evidence, expert testimony, and argument in a very contentious case, the jury found in favor of both defendants on all questions submitted in the jury charge. Neither defendant was found negligent nor found to have violated Texas law. The verdict was a complete and total victory for CrossFit and its affiliate.

Andrew M. Scott
Steven D. Selbe