7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Applicant, HSG Health Systems Group Limited (“HSG”), was one of many Defendants in a personal injury claim. The Plaintiff was injured when a treadmill at a fitness facility malfunctioned. HSG sought Summary Judgment of the claim against it on the basis that the Plaintiff had signed a liability waiver which purported to release the Defendant from any liability arising out of any injuries sustained during the Plaintiff’s use of the fitness facility.

Master Prowse confirmed that a Summary Judgment Application should only be granted if the record before the Court would provide for a fair and just determination for both parties. Master Prowse reviewed prior authorities concerning the signing of a release or waiver, and held that, given the Plaintiff’s sophisticated background, the moderate inherent risk of using a fitness facility, and the circumstances surrounding the signing of the waiver there was no evidence which indicated to the Defendant that the Plaintiff was not consenting to the terms in the waiver agreement when the Plaintiff signed it. Master Prowse held that the record before the Court clearly favoured the granting of Summary Judgment, and there was no indication that a Trial Judge would have better evidence to determine the matter. The Defendant’s Summary Judgment Application was granted.

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