ATTORNEY GENERAL Peter F. Kilmartin has sued David Walker, former owner of Gable Fitness Inc. d/b/a/ Gold's Gym, alleging that he violated the Rhode Island Health Club Act and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
PROVIDENCE – Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin has filed a civil lawsuit in Providence County Superior Court against Gable Fitness Inc. d/b/a Gold’s Gym on behalf of customers who allege that owner David Walker solicited and accepted membership fees despite knowing the gym would soon close.
On April 10, 2014, customers of the Gold’s Gym in North Providence arrived to find the gym closed but were not issued a membership refund because, under Rhode Island law, a customer may not get a refund of a pre-paid gym membership if there is another health club within 15 miles that accepts the contract.
Walker told customers that their memberships to the North Providence location would be accepted at his Gold’s Gym location in Warwick, which fell within 15 miles of the North Providence gym. On May 18, however, Walker sold the Gold’s Gym in Warwick, which began operating under new ownership and the name Global Gym.
The attorney general has since received more than 140 written complaints from Rhode Islanders claiming that the owner of Global Gym charged maintenance fees to maintain a membership, and that Walker solicited memberships that could not and would not be provided, according to a statement from Kilmartin’s office.
Kilmartin alleges that Walker’s actions violated the Rhode Island Health Club Act and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and that Gold’s Gym members should be compensated. The attorney general filed the lawsuit against both Gable Fitness Inc. and Walker individually after Walker failed to respond to a civil investigative demand related to the consumer complaints.
Walker received notice of the lawsuit on July 1 and has 20 days to respond to the complaint.
Consumers who were members of Gold’s Gym and believe they are entitled to a refund should file a consumer complaint with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Office of Attorney General at www.riag.ri.gov.