On Thursday, Attorney General Schneiderman announced settlements with 96 health club operators across New York State.
The settlement agreements stem from an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office that revealed widespread violations of the law, including failure to make required disclosures to consumers, and compliance with obligations required of health clubs under state law and inclusion of unenforceable release and/or waiver of liability provisions in their contracts.
The 96 operators have signed “Assurances of Discontinuance” agreeing to modify their contracts to comply with New York State laws and to pay penalties and fines.
New York State’s Health Club Law provides consumers with certain protections, including that no health club contract can exceed $3,600 a year or be for a term longer than 36 months.
In addition, all health club contracts are cancelable within three days of the signing of the contract, and at any time for any of the following reasons:
If the health club ceases to offer the services stated in the contract
If the consumer moves 25 miles from any health club operated by the seller
If upon a doctor’s order, the consumer cannot receive the services as stated in the contract because of significant physical disability for a period in excess of six months.
Such notices must appear on all health club contracts. The health club must provide refunds within 15 days of such cancelation.
The Attorney General’s investigation into health clubs’ compliance with state law remains ongoing.
Gyms in our area that were fined include:
– $250, Diamond Gym in Elmira, N.Y.
– $250, Crossfit of Ithaca in Ithaca, N.Y.
– $250, JP Fitness Center in Endicott, N.Y.
– $750, Journey Fitness Coaching in Elmira, N.Y.