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Sacramento Kings, Francisco Garcia Settle Products Liability Lawsuit Over Defective Exercise Ball

Ledraplastic S.p.a. has settled the exercise equipment lawsuits filed against it by the Sacramento Kings and team member Francisco Garcia. The swingman sustained severe injuries when an exercise ball made by the company manufactured exploded while he was on it. Garcia had to miss four months of a five-year contract extension valued at $29.6M while he recovered.

The defective product occurred on October 9, 2009 while he was balancing on the 75-centimeter Gymnic fit ball and lifting 90-pound weights. When the exercise ball exploded, he fell to the ground, fracturing his right forearm and suffering other injuries.

In their products liability case, the Kings alleged breach of warranty and sought to get back the over $4 million in salary that the team had to pay Garcia even while he couldn’t play. This year, he experienced an aggravation to the same forearm injury and was forced to miss two more games. Garcia sought products liability compensation for his loss of future earning capacity and his mental and physical pain and suffering. Both plaintiffs contended that the ball had a warranty claiming it could handle 600-pounds and was “burst resistant.”

The terms of the defective exercise equipment settlements are confidential. However, Ledraplastic has consented to issue a letter notifying all distributors that the Gymnic fit balls should only used with body weight and no actual weights.

Exercise Equipment Injuries You don’t need to be a professional athlete to sustain injuries because of a dangerous or faulty piece of exercise equipment. Examples of fitness equipment accidents that can happen:

  • Treadmill falls
  • Gym equipment failure
  • Exercise machine defects
  • Fitness ball explosions
  • Equipment overheating
  • Exercise equipment accidents caused by poor assembly instructions/directions for proper use.

Injuries may include facial injuries, head injuries, broken bones, finger amputations, toe amputations, lacerations, burns, bruises, sprains, strains, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, fractures, heart problems, and even wrongful death. Fitness equipment accidents can occur at professional facilities and in home gyms.

In 2009, boxing champion Mike Tyson’s daughter, 4, died after her neck got wrapped in the cord of a treadmill. Exodus Tyson passed away from her choking injuries. In 2010, a jury awarded a $66M New York products liability verdict to a woman who became paralyzed after an exercise machine fell on her. Cybex International is the manufacturer of the 600-pound leg extension machine that landed on Natalie Barnhard in 2004. The incident left her a quadriplegic. In an unrelated recall earlier this month, Cybex recalled approximately 430 leg presses over concerns that the weight platform locking mechanism could fail and the backrest might disengage, posing an injury risk to users.

Exercise equipment accidents can also happen because of inadequate supervision/poor instructions from fitness trainers and others at professional gyms. There may be more than one party that should be held liable. You want to work with an experienced products defects law firm that knows how to successfully pursue your recovery.

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