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Gyms Facing Criticism May Now Face Lawsuits


As part of the essential lockdown that the US is now facing, state governments have ordered the closure of all gyms amid COVID-19. However, that hasn’t stopped some gyms from continuing to charge their customers. Many gyms have maintained the automatic charges, continuing to remove money from the bank accounts of gym members, even though they may be out of work as employers shut down business.

While some gym chains have allowed customers to freeze or cancel their memberships, many have altogether stopped charging during coronavirus closures. Others have let their customers know that they will receive extensions to their memberships for every day that they are charged during the shutdown. Both are considered good practices, though the latter still isn’t ideal for many of those who are out of work and receiving no income.

A member of California-based 24 Hour Fitness health club has now filed a federal lawsuit targeting the national chain for continuing to charge its members. With more than 430 locations and 4 million members, the chain has grappled with intense backlash for the move to continue charging, a practice it recently announced will end — but not for another two weeks.

In the suit, 24 Hour Fitness member, Brenda Labib, accused the chain of making “the unconscionable decision” of continuing to collect monthly fees. The suit, which seeks to become a class action, alleges several violations, including fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

While more and more gyms continue to be criticized as charges come through, this suit sets a precedent all but ensuring similar lawsuits against gyms across the US are yet to come.

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