Hundreds of Gym Owners Sue New York State

Hundreds of Gyms Are Suing NY State

As customers return to salons, restaurants and bars, frustrated gym and fitness center owners are asking for equal treatment. On July 9th, a coalition of gym owners representing 2,000 facilities across New York filed a class-action lawsuit.

The plaintiffs allege that Cuomo’s executive shutdown order, while necessary early on, has now violated their due process, and that the decision not to allow gyms to open while spas, retail and other businesses operate is discriminatory.

The class action suit, filed in the state Supreme Court by Syosset based Mermigis Law Group, is suing the state for $500 million in lost revenue and the resulting foreclosures, bankruptcies and layoffs of some 70,000 fitness professionals statewide.

Upon hearing of the group’s intent to file, Jack Sterne, a spokesperson for the Cuomo administration said, "While we cannot comment on a lawsuit that has not even been filed yet, every decision we make is based on data and expert analysis…”

Gyms Are on The Brink of Extinction

While it’s widely believed that the judge assigned to the case can rule on the merits of the submitted briefs, the judge has requested that on August 20th NY State Attorney General appear before the court to present oral arguments as to why the state has elected to keep gyms closed.

Gym owner Charlie Cassara, an organizer and a lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, explained “The governor said ‘when it comes time to reopen, you’re going to have to demonstrate you can safely reopen’. But we’re not given that opportunity.”

NY State’s position is that New Yorkers need to remember that there’s a global pandemic. Opening gyms, it seems, may put your entire neighborhood at risk.

Meanwhile, though our statewide healthcare system is now - reportedly - stable, “I’ve spoken to hundreds of gym owners,” Cassara said, and “they can’t even afford to put food on the table.”

Vilified Dirty and Unsafe

One observer who wishes to remain anonymous explained it this way, “If GNC, 24 Hour Fitness, and Gold’s Gym already filed for bankruptcy, what do you think is going to happen to rest of us gym owners now that we’ve been repeatedly vilified by people of authority as unnecessary and high risk?”

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