Long Island News Post Published on July 1st 2020, Written by Nick P.
Long Island Gym Owners To Sue the State Over Extended Closure
After NY Governor Cuomo recently announced that gyms will no longer be a part of the fourth reopening Phase, gym owners have come together to make their voices heard in the cases to reopen. Local gym owners have recently endured a costly shutdown and many are not sure how much longer they can continue to keep their doors closed.
This situation comes as Long Island Coronavius cases per town appear to be down across the board.
Charlie Cassara, owner of a local gym stated, “I just don’t know how a guy can shut down an entire industry without any data. And this is coming from someone who says everything is about the data.”
He owns a gym in both Hicksville and Farmingdale. Cassara says that his membership has fallen by 60% so far and that delaying the reopening of gyms will effectively close down many for good.
“We are not looking to hurt anyone, it’s about safety first — but we do provide a service,” Cassara said. Many gym-goers feel the same as Cassara, as they should be able to choose whether or not they want to attend gyms and run the risk of getting sick.
In his announcement, Cuomo raised concerns that air conditioning inside gyms could spread the COVID-19 virus. Gym owners were quick to point out that almost every business uses air conditioning in the summer and that they were being singled out for no reason.
Owner of Row House studios in NYC, Debra Frolich, wants more specific details about the reopening process. “Some of the languages that have come from the Governor’s office suggested maybe not until a vaccine, maybe not until next year. That’s not viable for a fitness business,” said Frolich.
Attorney James Mermigis plans to file a class-action lawsuit at the end of the week against New York State on behalf of gym owners. Both Frolich and Cassar are part of this lawsuit.
“While we do understand the serious nature of this disease,” said Attorney James Mermigis. “These people have a business, they need to support their families and they are on the brink of losing everything.”
This lawsuit is similar to the lawsuit about to be filed in Seattle, where local business owners are suing the state for abandoning them when thugs decided to overtake several blocks of the city and do things such as shakedown business owners for protection fees.
Jack Sterne, Administration Spokesperson for Cuomo stated: "While we can not comment on a lawsuit that has not even been filed yet, every decision we make is based on data and expert analysis, and we are continuing to study how and when indoor gyms and fitness centers can open safely. New Yorkers need to remember we are still living in a global pandemic - and as states around the country are showing, acting recklessly will only lead to a slower reopening for everyone while putting more of our neighbors in harm's way."
Should Gyms and Malls Be Included In Phase 4?
Local gym owners are furious about the decision to delay their reopening until further notice, as they have been budgeting to provide for their families based on the fact they would be able to reopen on July 8th. Now that these businesses do not even know when they will be able to open, there is not
As many are beginning to point out, none of the rules regarding the COVID restrictions seem to add up. Small business owners, as well as mall owners, are left asking why people are able to shop in large chains such as Costco, but not able to shop in their store if they are taking the same precautions of Social Distancing and wearing a mask.
This leaves small business owners, such as gym owners especially angry. Many professional sports leagues are set to be making their return in the coming weeks where players will be coming in close contact for extended periods of time. While all of these billion-dollar corporations are allowed to run their business, gym owners must stay closed which makes them unable to generate any revenue.
At this time all we can do is wait on the Governor for another update about the situation regarding Phase 4 as we get closer to the reopening date. The lawsuit against the state will be filed at the end of this week before Phase 4 is set to begin.
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Long Island News Post Published July 1st, 2020
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