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Fitness Studios Sue NYC, de Blasio Over Coronavirus Closures

Patch logo Patch 9/10/2020 Matt Troutman
a woman taking a selfie: A group of indoor fitness studios claim $250 million in damages over "unconstitutional" closures, according to a new class action lawsuit. © Shutterstock A group of indoor fitness studios claim $250 million in damages over "unconstitutional" closures, according to a new class action lawsuit.

NEW YORK CITY — Indoor fitness studios should be allowed to reopen along with the rest of New York City's gyms, a new lawsuit claims.

A group of fitness boutiques claim continued coronavirus closures are unconstitutional and entitle them to $250 million in damages, according to the lawsuit filed in Staten Island Supreme Court.

"This civil rights action challenges the blatant abuse of discretion by Defendant Mayor Bill de Blasio and Defendant (NYC Health Commissioners) Dr. David Chokshi and the unconstitutionality of the continued shutdown orders," the lawsuit states.

Gyms recently were given the go-ahead to reopen in New York City after months of COVID-19 closures, but local officials opted to extend a ban on indoor fitness classes.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly expressed safety concerns over reopening indoor spaces amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But the lawsuit countered that indoor fitness studios, Pilates classes and other similar banned activities by their nature can control the flow of people safely. It argues those classes are as safe as other places and businesses that have been allowed to reopen in New York City.

"If tannings salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, schools, indoor gymnastics, casinos, mass transit, piercing stations and spas are allowed to open, Fit, yoga, pilates, barre and other fitness boutique studios should also be allowed to open," the lawsuit states.

The fitness studios — which banded together as the Boutique Fitness Alliance — claim to have lost millions of dollars in revenue and have had to lay off at least 5,000 employees throughout New York City amid the closures.

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