Stockton's David Lloyd health club fined after man blinded
A Teesside health club has been ordered to pay £96,000 after one of its members was blinded in one eye during a workout.
Mauro Carneiro, 46, lost the sight in his left eye and injured the other after a resistance band broke and hit him in the face at David Lloyd Leisure in Stockton.
At Teesside Crown Court, the firm admitted two health and safety offences.
The company said the incident, in June 2013, was "unprecedented" and apologised unreservedly to Mr Carneiro.
David Lloyd Leisure was fined £40,000 for each offence and must pay costs of £16,233 to Stockton Council to cover its costs of bringing the prosecution to court.
Stockton Council's cabinet member for housing and community safety Steve Nelson 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, which has 83 health clubs around the UK, 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."