MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A woman says a boot camp gym class left her badly injured after students flipped a giant tire weighing hundreds of pounds onto her foot. Now she’s suing.

Climbing stairs is now a struggle for Jeanette Burgos, a retired linebacker for the New York Sharks and state law enforcement officer.

Burgos claims she dislocated and broke her ankle during a workout class in August.

(Credit: Jeanette Burgos)

“It’s a struggle. It’s a freaky accident that could’ve been prevented,” Burgos told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.

Hard Bodies Extreme Fitness in Mount Vernon advertises boot camp classes for all fitness levels. Burgos says her class broke up into groups and students behind her were told to flip a 400-pound tire.

“They flipped it wrong and it curved to my side to the left instead of straight ahead and it fell right on top of my ankle and I heard the pop and it snapped,” she explained.

Burgos claims the instructor was also caught off guard.

“It was so crowded. There were so many people there we were just trying to get our exercise done. With that many people you should at least have two instructors.”

Burgos has been put on disability and doesn’t know when she can go back to work. She’s suing Hard Bodies Extreme Fitness and its founder Emil Paolucci.

Jeanette Burgos (Credit: CBS2)

Burgos added she can’t recall whether or not she signed a waiver. Her attorney argues it’s irrelevant.

“New York general obligation law states those types of waivers are unenforceable,” Dana Stricker explained.

“When you go into a gym you assume the risk of being injured, but only reasonable risk. It’s not reasonable to think someone’s going to be using a 400-pound tire and dropping it on your foot.”

The program’s founder declined to comment.

Burgos told CBS2 the day she got hurt, a substitute instructor was teaching the class. She never got his full name or any of his qualifications.

“They were using this item in a tight space in an overcrowded class with an inattentive teacher and it was a recipe for disaster,” Stricker added.

Burgos is warning others to trust their gut if a fitness class seems too crowded and know who’s leading the group.


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