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Supreme Court authorizes class action against Econofiness Clubs

Supreme Court authorizes class action against Econofiness Clubs

The Quebec Supreme Court has just authorized a class action lawsuit against Entreprises Vivre en Forme, which operates 67 Éconofitness gyms in 11 regions of Quebec.

The plaintiff, a man named Bobby Karius, argues that the company violated consumer protection law by unilaterally changing the terms for platinum subscriptions, which were guaranteeing unlimited access to its facilities.

According to Droit Inc. Carius, an STM inspector, opted for the platinum subscription in February 2020. A month later, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from benefiting from it, although his subscription included unlimited access to showers and other facilities, as well as the ability to share membership cards with relatives.

Gyms closed

Éconofitness forced to close temporarily due to sanitary measures, Mr. Karius’ subscription so that he could regain months of inactivity, but that did not satisfy him. So he decided to file a class action.

Gyms have been closed for 15 months by order of the Quebec government. Fearful and fearful of losing their business due to enforced inactivity, a few gym owners defied the authorities in 2020.

During its authorized partial reopening in March 2021, a Quebec fitness center, Mega Fitness Gym, was the source of nearly 500 cases of COVID-19 contamination. On February 14, 2022, the relaxation of health measures allowed a gradual resumption of activities in gyms.

Aggravating factor?

In his class action, Mr. Karius alleges that Éconofitness continued to sell subscriptions with unlimited access, when the company could not honor them. He wants the court to determine whether this constitutes an error and an aggravating factor.

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Mr. Karius wants Éconofitness to be required to offer a reduction in subscription fees or a refund, from the date of changing the conditions of access to its facilities.

It also seeks punitive damages of $300 to subscribers in addition to moral damages to be determined by the court.

All persons who have paid for a platinum subscription to Éconofitness Centers in Quebec since March 13, 2020 and who no longer receive the services promised by the company can be compensated, if the court rules in favor of Boby Carius.

Both parties will return to court on 1Verse March 2023.