Source: US State of New York
Members Who Submitted Cancellation Requests or
Whose Home Gym Remains Closed Can No Longer Be Charged
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that she has obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) in her recently-filed lawsuit against the parent company of New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) and Lucille Roberts — Town Sports International (TSI) — for unlawfully charging monthly dues to members and for partaking in a variety of illegal and fraudulent practices involving consumers’ cancellation rights. The TRO prohibits both gyms from charging any dues, fines, or penalties to any New York members who submitted cancellation requests since March 16, 2020, and charging any dues, fines, or penalties to any New York members whose home gym remains closed today. The TRO became effective immediately upon entry on Friday and will last, at least, until the court can hold a hearing on the matter at the end of the month. At that time, the court will have the option to renew the order.
“This order stops New York Sports Clubs and Lucille Roberts dead in their tracks and halts these health clubs from continuing to unlawfully charge many of their members,” said Attorney General James. “As so many continue to struggle financially as a result of COVID-19, we will continue to do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers’ wallets from a company that seeks to lift up its dire financial state at the expense of members.”
In the lawsuit filed last week, Attorney General James alleged that the company violated the law by continuing to charge consumers dues and fees, despite the fact that all health clubs and gyms in the state were ordered closed after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began to spread widely across New York in March. Further, instead of providing credits to consumers once the gyms reopened in August and September, TSI again charged consumers unlawfully.
Attorney General James asks any New Yorker who submitted a cancellation request or whose home gym remains closed, yet continues to be charged by TSI to immediately contact the Office of the Attorney General and file a complaint with the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau. Consumers are encouraged to submit any documentation they have of the unlawful charges along with their complaints.
The TRO obtained on Friday was issued on consent, and only applies to New Yorkers who submitted cancellation requests or whose home gyms remain closed.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Christopher L. McCall, Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine, and Bureau Chief Jane M. Azia — all of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau. The Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau is a part of the Division for Economic Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Chris D’Angelo and which is overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.