Slimmers World acquitted after 24 years of legal battle over client’s death

by Eileen Mencias

The Supreme Court’s First Division overturned a lower court ruling clearing Slimmers World of liability in a 24-year-old lawsuit over the death of a client.

Adelaida Kim, a long-time member of Slimmers World, took part in a personal training program in 2000. After her twelfth session, she experienced discomfort, headache, and nausea. Gym staff took her to hospital, where she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and later a brain haemorrhage. Adelaida died three days later due to a brain hemorrhage and severe high blood pressure.

Her husband, Miguel Kim, blamed the gym’s negligence for her death and sought damages.

Both the regional court (2009) and the court of appeal (2012) had ruled in favor of Miguel, citing negligence on the part of Slimmers World.

The Supreme Court recognized Miguel’s loss, but ultimately ruled in Slimmers World’s favor due to lack of evidence proving negligence or breach of contract.

It noted that Adelaida did not disclose her pre-existing hypertension when she applied for the training program. According to the Court, the gym based itself on a more recent health declaration from June 2000, which did not reveal any risk factors.

The Court further states that Slimmers World’s staff followed the correct procedures. Although a doctor was not immediately available, registered nurses seized Adelaida’s vitals, and the gym immediately took her to the hospital.

“While the court commiserates with Miguel for the death of his wife, it is ultimately the solemn duty of this court to judge the case impartially based on applicable law and evidence presented. However, as discussed in detail above, Miguel failed to discharge his burden to prove what he must prove,” the Supreme Court said in a 20-page ruling.

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