Four plaintiffs allege in a proposed class action lawsuit that the operators of Boston Sports Club have continued charging monthly membership fees despite the facilities’ closure in Massachusetts due to the novel coronavirus.
The nine-page complaint against Town Sports International, LLC and Town Sports International Holdings, Inc. chides the companies for allegedly charging consumers for contractually agreed upon services they knew they could not provide with the gyms shuttered. The lawsuit describes Town Sports’ alleged conduct as “a deplorable display of unconscionable corporate avarice” in violation of Massachusetts consumer protection law at a time when hundreds of thousands of state residents face staggering economic hardship.
Despite having furloughed or fired “nearly all” of its employees, Town Sports has allegedly continued to “wrongfully accumulate wealth” while receiving a steady stream of requests to cancel memberships, freeze accounts or provide refunds. The case claims such requests from consumers have gone unanswered by Town Sports as the company, as of April 1, 2020, continues to charge members’ credit and debit cards. To that extent, Town Sports “has made it nearly (if not) impossible” for consumers to cancel their memberships or avoid being charged for such, the suit alleges.
From the lawsuit:
“During the Class Period, Town Sports closed all of its locations in the Commonwealth. Town Sports sent multiple notices of closure to consumers, but did not provide them with a viable method of cancelling or suspending their memberships. In fact, Town Sports effectively furloughed (indefinitely) or terminated its entire work force in Massachusetts, depriving consumers of any meaningful way to cancel their memberships before Town Sports charged them fees.”
The lawsuit looks to represent all Boston Sports Club members in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who were forced to pay membership fees after the closing of the defendants’ facilities at which those members were entitled to access services.