David Lloyd Leisure fined following million pound compensation pay out

A Teeside gym has been ordered to pay £96,000 after one of its members was blinded in one eye and left with impaired vision in his other eye after a resistance band broke and hit him in the face.

Following the incident David Lloyd Leisure has paid £1.3 million in compensation to 46-year-old Mauro Carneiro, who has suffered months of post-traumatic stress.

Mr Cameiro was sitting on a stability ball and using resistance bands attached to a metal pole on an outdoor tennis court. He was under the instruction of his experienced personal trainer when the incident occurred.

It has been reported that Mr Carneiro was using the equipment for the first time when the stitching gave way on the attachment and the four resistance bands catapulted a metal “D-ring” into his face. Mr Donaldson was using his own resistance bands which he had bought on eBay, it was heard.

Mr Carneiro was taken to the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, and underwent seven hours of surgery. He lost the sight in his left eye and has impaired vision in his right after it was “badly damaged”, the court heard.

At Teesside Crown Court, the firm admitted two health and safety offences. The company said the incident was “unprecedented” and apologised unreservedly to Mr Carneiro.

David Lloyd Leisure was fined £40,000 for each offence with costs of £16,233. Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said:

“Mr Carneiro suffered what can only be described as catastrophic injuries.Of course the consequences to him have been significant and serious. His vision has been substantially impaired.
“He refers to the fact that he has to proceed with caution, clearly he cannot drive, he suffers from depression and his facial expressions have changed.”

Since the accident the firm had ensured that only DLL equipment is used, the judge said.

Stockton Council’s cabinet member for housing and community safety said:

“All gyms and health clubs have a duty to keep their members safe.
“David Lloyd Leisure did not adhere to this responsibility and as a result Mr Carneiro has suffered life changing injuries so it is only right that they should be handed this hefty fine.”

David Lloyd Leisure said:

“We strive at all times to achieve the highest safety standards possible and it is clear that, on this occasion, certain standards were not met leading to consequences we sincerely regret.
“We have apologised unreservedly to Mr Carneiro and his family, and we wish to reiterate our deepest sympathy.”