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Smith Press Machine Lawsuit

Smith Press Machine Lawsuit

A jury has awarded $18.6 million to a man who was paralyzed after using the Smith Press Machine. The weight-lifting equipment did not have appropriate safety features to prevent the barbell from crushing the man’s spine when he fell.

What You Can Do & How a Smith Press Machine Lawsuit Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Smith Press Machine induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

What is the Smith Press Machine?

Flex Equipment Co. manufactures the Smith Press Machine. This popular exercise machine is designed for squats and bench presses. Unlike other machines, the barbell can only glide vertically in a fixed column — not laterally. This design is supposed to improve safety by helping a user stabilize and balance.

Safety features:

  • Dead stop: Sets a minimum height the barbell can fall.
  • Adjustable stops: Allows users to change the minimum height the barbell can fall.

What is the problem?

People who use fixed press machines are often able to squat heavier weights than they would feel comfortable with on a free-weight machine because they do not have to stabilize their body through the entire range of motion.

When a user falls or crumples under a heavy weight, it is essential that a “safety stop” catches the barbell. If there is no stop or if it is set too low, the barbell can crush the user’s spine or neck and cause severe injury, paralysis, or even death.

Set Safety Stops 28 Inches or Higher

Safety stops — adjustable stops, dead stops, or “dynamic stops” — are essential safety features to catch a falling barbell. Experts recommend setting the stop at 28 inches or higher. Unfortunately, some gyms do not provide an adjustable stop. In other cases, the dead stop is set too low.

$18.6 Million Settlement in Smith Press Machine Lawsuit

In 2003, a lawsuit was filed by a man who became a quadriplegic after using a Smith Press Machine. The incident occurred in 2001 at a Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California.

The man, Harold Leon Bostick, was an aspiring lawyer who used the machine with several hundred pounds on the barbell. When he crumpled, there was no adjustable stop to catch the barbell. The dead stop was set too low, at 21 inches. It crushed his spine and he was paralyzed.

Bostick filed a lawsuit against Gold’s Gym and Flex Equipment Co., the manufacturer of the Smith Press Machine. He offered a $1 million settlement with Flex and its insurance company, but the insurer refused, against the recommendation of their own attorneys. The case went to trial and a jury awarded Bostick $14.6 million, including $7.6 million against Gold’s Gym.

Flex allowed Bostick to sue their insurance company, which resulted in an $11.3 million award in 2008. In total, Bostick was awarded $18.6 million for his injuries, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Smith Machine Class Action

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is nationally recognized as a class action law firm. However, our attorneys are not filing a Smith Machine class action. Instead, we are focusing our efforts on individual lawsuits for people with the most serious injuries and/or disabilities caused by exercising with this product.

Do I have a Smith Press Machine Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Smith Press Machine induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.

Free Case Evaluation

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading plaintiff’s law firms and handles cases in all 50 states. We are very proud of our legal achievements, but equally self-respecting of our firms reputation for providing personal attention to each and every client we represent.

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