FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Class Action Lawsuit against L.A. Fitness over Unfair Cancellation Charges to Go Forward:
Judge Denies L.A. Fitness’s Motion to Dismiss.
September 4, 2012 - Today, Senior Judge William H. Walls of the United States District Court in Newark issued an order denying L.A. Fitness’smotion to dismiss Martina, et al. v. L.A. Fitness, a putative class action lawsuit charging that the company's cancellation policiesare designed to induce gym members to pay dues for additional months after notifying the company of their wish to cancel their memberships. The lawsuit alleges that L.A. Fitness violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, by adopting a cancellation policy that requires gym members to cancel services at least 30 days prior to the next billing cycle, does not permit in-person or telephone cancellations, and requires prepayment of the last months’ membership.
Judge Walls ruled that the L.A. Fitness’s policies alleged in the complaint could constitute “unconscionable commercial practices” prohibited by the Consumer Fraud Act, noting that“[t]he cancellation policy contains an extra month’s cost that may catch many consumers off guard at the end of their membership.” Judge Walls also noted that L.A. Fitness’s policies of accepting cancellations only by mail “fall[s] short of good faith: members cannot terminate membership by phone, online, or even in person at the very location where they joined… In this day and age, narrowly restricting the mode of cancellation in such a manner suggests an intent to place barriers in the process.”
The lawsuit was filed in February by the Wolf Law Firm, LLC of North Brunswick on behalf of the plaintiff, Sophia Martina and all other New Jersey consumers who have been subject to L.A. Fitness’s cancellation policies. The complaint asserts that those polices violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and Truth in Consumer Contract, Notice and Warranty Act, and seeks monetary damages under those statutes for all effected New Jersey consumers. The complaint also seeks an injunction that would prohibit L.A. Fitness from continuing its unlawful cancellation fee policies in New Jersey.
The Wolf Law Firm, LLC
1520 U.S. Hwy 130, Suite 101
North Brunswick, NJ 08904