The Ohio State University Settles Lawsuit With Local CrossFit Gym Owner
Local gym owner, Mitch Potterf, made waves back in 2015 when he filed a lawsuit against The Ohio State University. At issue were claims made in a university study that assessed CrossFit as a means of improving physical fitness. The study found that Crossfit could improve fitness levels, but the gym owner challenged published researcher assertions about injuries and subjects who dropped out of the study.
When the research was published in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the authors indicated that nine of study subjects dropped out because of “injury or overuse.” According to Potterf, and depositions under oath from the same nine subjects, the participants’ failure to complete the study had nothing to do with CrossFit activities. Attorney Ken Donchatz said, “Every single one said that he or she dropped out for reasons unrelated to the study, for one it was work conflicts, for another, it was a death in the family… travel plans.”
The controversy over the study itself has been the subject of national press. For the CrossFit brand of training within the fitness industry, the suggestions that it is an activity that presents a high-risk of injury are unfounded and significantly negative. From the perspective of the CrossFit community, the study was defamatory in its suggestions that the exercise program produced injuries in a study where there were none.
While the NSCA issued a retraction in 2015, OSU held firm saying the case was “meritless.” The Ohio Court of Claims disagreed. Yesterday, the judge signed a settlement awarding Potterf $145,000.
Or not closed. Potterf’s lawsuit against the NSCA will now move back to the Court Of Common Pleas. While a retraction was printed, the lawsuit claims that the retraction was not sufficient in scope to fully address the extent to which the injury claims were fabricated.
Says Potterf, “I am ready for the next step and am happy that there is finally acknowledgement that no one was injured.”