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A group of gym owners throughout NYC and NY state have gotten together, hired a lawyer and filed an injunction against Governor Cuomo’s state government, According to NY1.
James Mermigis, the attorney representing the conglomeration of owners of gyms and other fitness facilities, "If we beat the virus then he shouldn’t have any emergency powers, he should let businesses open and let everyone earn a living."
The legal action has to date brought together over 1,500 gym owners from one end of NY state to the other. They are filing an injunction to strike down Cuomo’s order to stay closed, and in addition, a class-action lawsuit to the tune of $500 million USD.
Jay Hachadoorian, the owner of CrossFit Gantry in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens, right across the 59th street bride from Manhattan, says “It’s terrible to walk in and see it completely empty,” and went on to say, "There’s been a lot of sleepless nights."
The gym is currently $50,000 USD in arrears on its rent and its very survival is in question, along with that of many other gyms named in the legal actions. For months now, they have only been able to give the odd small-group outdoor class.
Gyms were originally slated to re-open along with most of the rest of NY state’s economy a few weeks back, when the state entered into the fourth phase of its gradual re-opening, but at the last minute, Cuomo decided to exclude them from the re-opening, due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
The class action lawsuit calls the order for gyms to remain closed "arbitrary, unequal and random," and violated their due process rights, according to the laws of NY state. This is due to the fact that health spas, barber shops and tattoo studios are now fully open in NY state, but gyms have been excluded.
Gym owners also argue that gyms are more needed than ever now, "Everything that is going on outside that is causing more anxiety and depression right now," said Michele Gretano. Working out from home is just not the same, according to Gretano.
A spokesperson for Cuomo stated that the actions taken by the government were perfectly legal, undertaken with the sole intention of slowing the spread of the virus, and have proven successful in doing so.
A hearing has been scheduled for next week to resolve the matter.