Gerilynne Seigneur (plaintiff) signed up for a membership at a gym in suburban Washington, D.C. owned by National Fitness Institute, Inc. (NFI) (defendant). As a part of her membership, she signed a contract stating that exercises undertaken at the gym were at her risk and that NFI was not liable for any injuries. As part of her initial workout, Seigneur injured her shoulder. She brought a negligence suit against NFI, claiming that the exculpatory clause in the contract is void as against public policy. The lower court determined that the clause was enforceable. Seigneur appealed.