PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed a civil lawsuit on Tuesday against a North Providence gym and its owner for allegedly violating the state's Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Health Club Act.
Walker is the owner of the Gable Fitness Inc., doing business as Gold's Gym. On April 10, customers of the North Providence gym allegedly found the gym closed. Walker allegedly told his customers that their membership to the North Providence location would be valid at his Gold's Gym location in Warwick.
Rhode Island law states that a customer may not get a refund of a pre-paid gym membership if there is another health club facility within 15 miles that accepts the contract. The distance between the Warwick and North Providence locations was within 15 miles.
On May 18, Walker allegedly sold the Warwick-based Gold's Gym, which began operating under new ownership and the name Global Gym. Global Gym allegedly charged consumers maintenance fees to maintain the membership.
Kilmartin's office received more than 140 complaints from Rhode Islanders alleging 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. Kilmartin alleged the defendants caused compensable losses to consumers, in violation of the Rhode Island Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Walker received notice of the lawsuit on July 1. He has 20 days to respond to the suit.