I have felt both personally victimized and at risk of grave injury in all of the five SoulCycle classes I’ve ever taken, a situation I resolved by never going again. Unfortunately, Carmen Farias, of California, was not so lucky: According to court documents obtained by People, Farias is suing the company for negligence after being “shamed” by an instructor, which she says led her to become “catastrophically injured.”
Farias was 20 minutes into her first class, led by Angela Davis, alongside coworkers in July 2014 when she felt her legs begin to weaken and tried to slow down. She alleges that Davis, who happens to be Oprah’s go-to instructor, “barked” at her and the rest of the class, saying, “We don’t take breaks.” The document continues, “The shame caused Carmen to momentarily attempt to pedal faster.… Her legs were shaking. Carmen had to stop the pedals from turning, but she did not know how to stop the pedals.” (Pedal backwards.)
The lawsuit also says that Davis failed to explain to the class how to use the bike properly and how to stop it from spinning, or how to remove her shoes from the pedal’s clips. “Carmen was in serious peril,” the document claims. “Fatigue and disorientation overcame [her] and she fell to her right and off of the saddle of the spinning cycle.” Farias repeatedly dislocated her left ankle as the pedals continued to turn. By the time the whole thing came to an end, her attorney states, “Carmen had been catastrophically injured.”
I would like to add that if everyone who has ever felt like they were in “serious peril” during a SoulCycle class decided to sue, the company would have gone bankrupt a looooong time ago. That’s what waivers are for.