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Written by Peter Carter

July 12, 2017

When Daniel Popp signed up for personal training with one of Australia’s biggest gym chains, he did not expect it to result in an abdomyolysis diagnosis.

Snap fitness is being sued for negligence following a hospital stint for more than a week after client Daniel Popp checked into an emergency ward when his urine turned “as black as leather” following his first PT session at Snap Fitness in the inland central Queensland town of Emerald in August 2014.

Abdomyolysis is the rapid breakdown of seriously injured muscle tissue severe enough to threaten the kidneys, commonly found in car crash victims, illicit drug takers and marathon runners.

In Daniel’s case however, Doctors in his hospital summary state the injury was sustained from “excessive exercise”.
In an unexpected twist, Snap fitness is claiming that personal trainer James Fallow was not an employee of theirs which therefore deems them not liable for Mr Popp’s injuries.

The lawsuit filed by Mr Popp’s against both trainer, James Fallow and Snap Fitness states the trainer told him to push through despite complaining of “significant” pain in his legs and groin, feeling faint, struggling to stand and vomiting in the toilet several times and is asking for $200,000 in damages.

For information on Public Liability Insurance, go to: Public Liability

Both parties are however contesting the lawsuit as it is not clear if the trainer is an employee of the gym.

Mr Fallows and Snap have denied negligence, stating that his program was safe and that Mr Popp’s made no such complaints during their session, with Snap going on to claim that Mr Popp’s injuries were in fact not due to the session he had at Snap Fitness.

As Mr Fallows is a PT contractor, the company has claimed he is not an employee, therefore they are not responsible for ensuring the trainer was providing services with due care and skill.

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth spoke out on the matter claiming that the line between employee and contractor can be tricky and had the potential to cause problems in the fitness industry and even more broadly.
The father of five, Mr Popp’s, continues to endure regular pain and discomfort and is seeking damages mostly for future economic loss.

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