Empress Health and Beauty Spa, Inc. v. Turner

CourtSupreme Court of Tennessee
Writing for the CourtFONES; DYER, C.J., CHATTIN and McCANLESS, JJ., and LEECH
Citation503 S.W.2d 188
Decision Date17 December 1973
PartiesEMPRESS HEALTH AND BEAUTY SPA, INC., Petitioner, v. Ruth TURNER, Respondent.

Page 188

503 S.W.2d 188
EMPRESS HEALTH AND BEAUTY SPA, INC., Petitioner,
v.
Ruth TURNER, Respondent.
Supreme Court of Tennessee.
Dec. 17, 1973.

Max Shelton, Memphis, for petitioner.

Walter Lee Bailey, Jr., Memphis, for respondent.

OPINION

FONES, Justice.

Ruth Turner was plaintiff and Empress Health & Beauty Spa, Inc. was defendant in the trial court, and they will be referred to herein in that status.

Plaintiff sued defendant for personal injuries, alleging that she had entered into a contract with the defendant, obligating it to give her instructions and provide weight reducing machinery that would cause her to reduce her weight; that she was instructed to use a vibrating machine on September 1, 1970, and 'that while plaintiff was using said machine the belt around plaintiff, connected to said machine, broke.'

The specific acts of negligence alleged were:

'1. Carelessly and negligently maintaining said vibrating machine allowing the belt to break causing plaintiff to fall and be injured.

2. Carelessly and negligently maintaining said vibrating machine in a dangerous and defective condition in that the belt was loose, worn and parts thereof broken away, causing said machine to be in a dangerous condition.'

Defendant answered, denying any act of negligence and asserting an exculpatory clause in the contract as a complete bar to the plaintiff's cause of action. Subsequently, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, supported by the discovery deposition of plaintiff, wherein she identified the contract entered into with the defendant, acknowledged her signature thereon, and same is an exhibit to said deposition.

The provision in the contract urged by the defendant as a bar to plaintiff's action is as follows:

'7. Member fully understands and agrees that in participating in one or more of the courses, or using the facilities

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that shall be maintained by the Spa, there is the possibility of accidental or other physical injury. Member further agrees to assume the risk of such injury, and further agrees to indemnify the Spa from any and all liability attributable to the Spa by either the Member or Third Parties as a result of the use by the Member of the facilities and instruction as offered by the Spa.'

No counteraffidavits, depositions or other proof was presented by plaintiff in opposition to motion for summary judgment.

The trial court granted defendant's motion and dismissed the case.

The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for 'such further proceedings as the law directs.' We granted defendants petition for the writ of certiorari and have heard oral argument.

The Court of Appeals held...

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97 practice notes
  • Thompson v. National R. R. Passenger Corp., Nos. 79-1343
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • July 15, 1980
    ...plaintiff since Tennessee has recognized the validity of waiver of liability provisions. See Empress Health & Beauty Spa, Inc. v. Turner, 503 S.W.2d 188 (Tenn.1973); Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Hadley, 11 Tenn.App. 642, 646 3 As the dissent in the present case notes, the Thompson decis......
  • Sanislo v. Give Kids the World, Inc., No. SC12–2409.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 12, 2015
    ...; Swartzentruber v. Wee–K Corp., 117 Ohio App.3d 420, 690 N.E.2d 941 (1997) ; Empress Health & Beauty Spa, Inc. v. Turner, 503 S.W.2d 188 (Tenn.1973) ; Russ v. Woodside Homes, Inc., 905 P.2d 901 (Utah Ct.App.1995) ; Blide v. Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., 30 Wash.App. 571, 636 P.2d 492 (1981......
  • Individual Healthcare Specialists, Inc. v. Bluecross Blueshield of Tenn., Inc., No. M2015-02524-SC-R11-CV
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • January 18, 2019
    ...the parties' intent is " ‘gathered from that language, and from that language alone, ...’ " Empress Health & Beauty Spa, Inc. v. Turner , 503 S.W.2d 188, 190 (Tenn. 1973) (quoting 17 Am. Jur. 2d, Contracts § 245 ).19 As contract cases came less often to be tried before a jury, later Tenness......
  • Schlobohm v. Spa Petite, Inc., No. 81-1193.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 10, 1982
    ...health club); Jones v. Dressel, Colo., 623 P.2d 370 (1981) (clause in a contract for sky diving); Empress Health & Beauty Spa v. Turner, 503 S.W.2d 188 (Tenn.1973) (spa and gym); Moss v. Fortune, 207 Tenn. 426, 340 S.W.2d 902 (1960) (horse and saddle Further, in the determination of whether......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
97 cases
  • Thompson v. National R. R. Passenger Corp., Nos. 79-1343
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • July 15, 1980
    ...plaintiff since Tennessee has recognized the validity of waiver of liability provisions. See Empress Health & Beauty Spa, Inc. v. Turner, 503 S.W.2d 188 (Tenn.1973); Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Hadley, 11 Tenn.App. 642, 646 3 As the dissent in the present case notes, the Thompson decis......
  • Sanislo v. Give Kids the World, Inc., No. SC12–2409.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 12, 2015
    ...; Swartzentruber v. Wee–K Corp., 117 Ohio App.3d 420, 690 N.E.2d 941 (1997) ; Empress Health & Beauty Spa, Inc. v. Turner, 503 S.W.2d 188 (Tenn.1973) ; Russ v. Woodside Homes, Inc., 905 P.2d 901 (Utah Ct.App.1995) ; Blide v. Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., 30 Wash.App. 571, 636 P.2d 492 (1981......
  • Individual Healthcare Specialists, Inc. v. Bluecross Blueshield of Tenn., Inc., No. M2015-02524-SC-R11-CV
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • January 18, 2019
    ...the parties' intent is " ‘gathered from that language, and from that language alone, ...’ " Empress Health & Beauty Spa, Inc. v. Turner , 503 S.W.2d 188, 190 (Tenn. 1973) (quoting 17 Am. Jur. 2d, Contracts § 245 ).19 As contract cases came less often to be tried before a jury, later Tenness......
  • Schlobohm v. Spa Petite, Inc., No. 81-1193.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • December 10, 1982
    ...health club); Jones v. Dressel, Colo., 623 P.2d 370 (1981) (clause in a contract for sky diving); Empress Health & Beauty Spa v. Turner, 503 S.W.2d 188 (Tenn.1973) (spa and gym); Moss v. Fortune, 207 Tenn. 426, 340 S.W.2d 902 (1960) (horse and saddle Further, in the determination of whether......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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