LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An association of gym owners has filed suit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles County health officials over COVID-19 restrictions preventing fitness centers from offering indoor activities.
“The [California Fitness Alliance] is taking this action reluctantly,” CFA lawyer Scott J. Street said. “Its members not only complied with the initial eight-week shutdown, but many were proactive in shutting down prior to the statewide stay-at-home order in March as a demonstration of their commitment to the health of their communities.”
The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, calls for a judgement to end to Newsom’s stay-at-home order and for a finding that county officials abused their discretion by refusing to allow fitness centers to reopen after the closure order was issued July 13.
“This is really more about what the government is doing, the power that the government is trying to exercise, the abuses of power and the arbitrariness of the decision making,” Street said Tuesday.
In the suit, CFA claims that it worked with Newsom’s office and state health officials to outline how indoor fitness activities could safely resume — allowing Californians to maintain both physical and mental health.
But, due to the state’s extension of shutdown orders, the alliance claims the state is jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of countless Californians in need of a safe and secure place to exercise as well as those who work in the industry, stating that the orders have had a “devastating impact on the many thousands who serve in fitness, most of whom got into the industry because they believe in helping people lead healthier lives.”
Cory Brightwell, a CFA advisory board member and CEO of Chuze Fitness, said that not all Californians live in places conducive to outdoor exercise — whether due to weather, smoke, lack of open spaces or safety concerns — and that the shutdown of indoor fitness centers was especially impacting minority communities.
A representative for Newsom’s office did not immediately return a request for comment from City News Service.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)