AG files lawsuit against owner of North Providence Gold's Gym

AG files lawsuit against owner of North Providence Gold's Gym

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday in Providence County Superior Court against David Walker and Gable Fitness Inc., doing business as Gold’s Gym, citing violations of Rhode Island’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Rhode Island Health Club Act.

Walker is the owner of the now closed Gold’s Gym in North Providence. Notice of the lawsuit was served to Walker on Tuesday, according to a news release. He has 20 days to respond to the complaint.

On April 10, customers of the Gold’s Gym in North Providence arrived to find the gym closed. Walker informed his customers that their membership to the North Providence location would be valid at his Gold’s Gym location in Warwick. Under Rhode Island Law, a customer may not get a refund of a pre-paid gym membership contract if there is another health club facility within 15 miles that accepts that contract. The distance between the North Providence and Warwick locations fell within 15 miles.

On May 18, Walker sold the Gold’s Gym in Warwick, which began operating under new ownership and the name Global Gym. Multiple consumers contacted the Office of the Attorney General to complain that the owner of Global Gym charged maintenance fees to maintain a membership.

Kilmartin's office has received more than 140 written complaints from Rhode Island consumers who allege that 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.

The attorney general alleges that Walker's actions have resulted in compensable losses to members in violation of the Rhode Island Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Previously, Kilmartin's office filed a civil investigative demand requesting that Walker answer questions related to the consumer complaints. Walker did appear to answer questions, and Kilmartin then determined that the best course of action to resolve the consumer complaints was to file a civil suit in Superior Court.

If there are consumers who were members of Gold’s Gym and believe they are entitled to a refund, they should file a consumer complaint with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Office of Attorney General at http://1.usa.gov/1mL26eG.