Attending To The Serious Issue Of Hepatitis And Related Liabilities When Training Fighters For The Ring

Many young up-and-coming athletes live for the dream of competing in boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. Simply training for and and agreeing to a fight is not all that is required to become an amateur. State athletic commissions regulate amateur licenses. Approval for a license is contingent on passing a physical. Blood work is a required part of the physical. This is done to protect the health of an opponent since both fighters could end up cut during the course of a bout. Cuts create the possibility for the transmission of hepatitis. Gym owners choosing to train fighters must become aware of the risks associated with hepatitis infections. Doing so is necessary for the financial well-being of the gym. Fighters who suffer from hepatitis might present liability risks for the gym.

Language in the Waiver

Gyms that train hobbyists who choose to take a fight here and make the bulk of their revenue from running group classes for health, fitness, and personal enjoyment. Members of the gym don't require licenses to train so they don't require blood test. So, gym owners should be mindful of liability risks with teaching the general public. Following Gold's Gym's lead and mention "medical disorders" in the "assumption of risk" language in the member's "waiver of liability" agreement. Running the wording and construct of the liability waiver past an attorney is strongly advised to ensure the waiver is actually enforceable. Due to certain flaws, a Gold's Gym's waiver was once deemed unenforceable in court.

Blood Test Fighters Immediately

When a member of the gym asks to be trained and booked for a fight, have the blood work done immediately. Getting the results from the blood work before training the person in the ring with various sparring partners keeps those other fighters out of harm's way. Delays on getting the blood work -- i.e. waiting until a few days before the actual fight -- could be open a gym owner up to liabilities if a sparring partner is infected. The blood work has to be done per commission rules. Even though the commission may not need the results until the night of the fight, gym owners should get the blood work done before preparing a fighter for an event he/she would be barred from competing in. Besides, the quicker the fighter learns they have contracted hepatitis, the quicker they can seek treatment.

Legal Issues and Concerns

The discovery of the hepatitis virus via a positive blood test may create additional complexities for gym owners. The owners may have serious liability concerns about a fighter being treated for hepatitis returning to the group classes. Having a policy of refusing service to protect the "health and safety of others" may be legally acceptable. Speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer about a particular state's "right to refuse service" rules all related concerns. Don't make uneducated guesses that may prove legally problematic.