CHICAGO (CN) – Bally Total Fitness faces a federal class action accusing it of depriving lifetime members of gym privileges by selling their memberships to L.A. Fitness, and in one case, telling a member he had to drive 5 hours to use his membership.
Lead plaintiffs Juan Dorado and Michael Markzon say they both bought lifetime memberships to Bally Total Fitness; Dorado says he bought four lifetime memberships.
“In 2011, Bally sold rights to many of its members and their life-time memberships to defendant LA Fitness (LAF); as well as sold certain Bally clubs to LAF,” the complaint states. “Yet, there are geographic areas in the U.S. that do not have LA Fitness facilities.
“As of December 1, 2011, there are no longer Bally-owned clubs in the Chicago area, all having been sold to LAF.
“In the New York City area, Bally sold to LA Fitness, some of its members (along with their lifetime memberships); however, there are no LA Fitness facilities in New York City.
“In Seattle, Bally sold to LA Fitness, some of its members (along with their lifetime memberships); however, LA Fitness facilities in Seattle will not honor the membership if it was purchased in Texas.
“For other potential plaintiffs throughout the U.S., there are no LA Fitness facilities nearby at which they can work out. For others, Bally did not assign their contracts to LA Fitness, but did sell all of the Ballys in their geographic area to LA Fitness.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
Dorado adds: “LA Fitness is not honoring any of Dorado’s lifetime memberships; although it purchased all of the Chicago area Bally clubs. Plaintiff Dorado has been told that he and his family can work out as long as they do so at a Bally facility in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mr. Dorado lives in the Chicago area, approximately 5 hours away.”
Markzon says he “has worked out at the same Bally facility in Chicago for the past approximately 11 years.” But “LA Fitness is not honoring the membership because it was purchased in Kansas.”
The men say that in some cases LA Fitness “will not allow access to LA Fitness by former Bally members unless they buy a new membership.”
Dorado and Markzon seek class damages from Bally and LA Fitness for consumer fraud, deceptive business practices, breach of contract and violations of the Honest Services Act.
They are represented by Christopher Cooper.