- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 28, 2020

A New York woman launched a class-action lawsuit against her gym last week in federal court, saying it is refusing to suspend memberships but is remaining closed due to the spread of COVID-19.

Mary Namorato sued New York Sports Clubs, owned by Town Sports International LLC and Town Sports International Holdings Inc., on Thursday after the club did not respond to her inquiries about suspending her membership.

Town Sports International operates clubs in the Northeast and has more than 600,000 members.

Ms. Namorato pays about $70 a month and has been a member since January 2019. After the clubs closed under the direction of state authorities on March 16, she wanted to explore her options to save money. The club last billed Ms. Namorato on March 1.

She filed a complaint with the New York attorney general’s office, which according to court papers, told her: “New York Sports Club is not automatically freezing or canceling memberships, is only permitting members to freeze or cancel their membership by mail, and freezes and cancellations are subject to certain fees.”

A number of members have taken to social media to complain about the payments.

Jim King commented on the club’s Facebook page that it needs to address locker-rental fees.

“Are you temporarily freezing all memberships and suspending fees until you reopen? Why is this information not included in the announcement about temporarily closing?” Mr. King wrote.

Other gyms like Crunch and Equinox have frozen member accounts upon closing their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple reports.

The 23-page lawsuit alleges the club is denying members the option to cancel and has breached its contract since the company cannot offer its services.

The CBS News affiliate in New York reported that the club says it will address members’ concerns over dues once it reopens.

A spokesperson for the fitness company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Times.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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