Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin filed a civil lawsuit in Providence County Superior Court against David Walker, individually, and Gable Fitness, Inc d/b/a Gold’s Gym, citing violations of Rhode Island’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Rhode Island Health Club Act.
David Walker is the owner of the now closed Gold’s Gym in North Providence. Notice of the lawsuit was served upon Walker on July 1. He has 20 days to respond to the complaint.
On April 10th of this year, customers of the Gold’s Gym in North Providence arrived to find the gym closed. Walker informed his customers that their membership to the North Providence location would be valid at his Gold’s Gym location in Warwick. Under Rhode Island Law, a customer may not get a refund of a pre-paid gym membership contract if there is another health club facility within 15 miles that accepts that contract. The distance between the North Providence and Warwick locations fell within 15 miles.
On May 18th, Walker sold the Gold’s Gym in Warwick, which began operating under new ownership and the name Global Gym. Multiple consumers contacted the Attorney General’s Office to complain the owner of Global Gym charged maintenance fees to maintain a membership.
The Office of Attorney General has received more than 140 written complaints from Rhode Island consumers who allege that Mr. Walker solicited and accepted membership fees for services that could not and would not be provided, in violation of the Rhode Island Health Club Act.
The Attorney General alleges that the Defendants’ actions have resulted in compensable losses to members in violation of the Rhode Island Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Previously, the Attorney General filed a civil investigative demand requesting Mr. Walker respond to the Office to answer questions related to the consumer complaints. Mr. Walker did appear before the Office to answer questions, after which the Attorney General determined the best course of action to resolve the consumer complaints was the civil action filed in Superior Court.
If there are consumers who were members of Gold’s Gym and believes they are entitled to a refund, they should file a consumer complaint with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Office of Attorney General here.