A proposed class action filed by a blind individual alleges that Fitness & Sports Clubs LLC – which operates gym chain L.A. Fitness – has failed to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), rendering visually impaired individuals unable to independently use or navigate the defendant’s gyms.
The plaintiff-a Paralympic athlete-takes issue with the defendant’s alleged “failure and refusal to adequately enforce its existing policies and procedures, as well as its failure and/or refusal to implement appropriate new policies” to comply with the ADA, the case says, which prohibits discriminating against disabled individuals by denying them the same services offered to non-disabled individuals.
Specifically, the plaintiff claims weights and exercise machines should have braille labels that allow visually impaired gym members to identify equipment. The suit also suggests that “tactile walking surface indicators can be installed on flooring surfaces between machines and equipment,” enabling disabled individuals to navigate through the gym independently.
According to the suit, although L.A. Fitness has a policy requiring gym members to return weights and equipment after use, the rule is “insufficiently enforced, resulting in fall and trip hazards.” Further, the defendant’s Pompano Beach, Florida location maintains a discriminatory bathroom policy in which disabled individuals need to request that an employee unlock the accessible restroom, the complaint alleges.
As a result of the defendant’s practices, the plaintiff claims she is unable to visit the gym unless accompanied by a third party, meaning she is unlawfully denied services offered by the gym chain due to her disability, the case argues.