WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced the parent company of Washington Sports Club will be required to pay a $100,000 fine to the District to resolve allegations that the company failed to adhere to the District’s COVID-19 health and safety orders, misinformed its patrons, and put the heath of District residents at risk.
“The District put emergency orders in place to help protect the health and safety of residents and reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said AG Racine. “Unfortunately, Washington Sports Club created an environment that not only violated those rules and put District residents at risk, but also had the potential to spread COVID-19. With this announcement, OAG is continuing to protect residents -- especially in the middle of a pandemic -- by holding Washington Sports Club accountable and ensuring it follows District laws going forward.”
On March 8, 2021, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) filed a lawsuit alleging the Dupont Circle location of the Washington Sports Club failed to enforce the District’s mask mandate, set and enforce appropriate social distancing guidelines, or properly disinfect equipment – all which are required by District emergency orders.
This is the third consumer complaint that the OAG has filed against Washington Sports Club’s owner. In January 2019, OAG filed a lawsuit against the gym’s previous owner for engaging in deceptive business practices, including continuing to charge consumers after they canceled their gym memberships. In August 2020, OAG filed another suit against the prior owner for failing to credit fees and cancel gym memberships while gyms were closed when the pandemic started and the Mayor issued a stay-at-home order.
After filing suit, OAG entered into conversations with New TSI Holdings, Inc., the owner of Washington Sports Club, which resolved this case promptly. Under this settlement, which fully resolves the case, the company agrees to:
- Pay a penalty of $100,000: Washington Sports Club will pay the District of Columbia $100,000.
- Comply with the District’s COVID-19 health and safety rules: The company must comply with COVID-19 safety measures required by District law and Mayoral guidance. Among other terms, Washington Sports Club must post signs on gym front doors stating protective masks are required for those who enter the gym, and enforce those rule with patrons and employees; ensure that gym patrons maintain proper social distancing guidelines throughout the gyms and while on gym equipment; update the Washington Sports Club website to include information related to social distancing guidelines; guarantee availability of hand sanitizer; and provide staff with protective masks and gloves. Washington Sports Club will ask patrons who do not comply with the guidelines to comply or leave the gym.
- Follow District laws and orders: Washington Sports Club will comply with all District laws, including by providing a website that does not misstate District law or misrepresent the level of health and safety maintained at the gym. Washington Sports Club must also comply with any and all future pandemic Mayoral Orders or mandatory Guidance that relate to the company’s operations.
A copy of the consent judgment with Washington Sports Club is available here.
How to Report Unfair Business Practices
To report scams, fraud, or unfair business practices, contact OAG’s Office of Consumer Protection by:
- Texting “COMPLAINT” to (202) 738-5212
- Messaging OAG using the chat feature at: [oag.dc.gov/consumer-protection]oag.dc.gov/consumer-protection
- Submitting a complaint online at: https://oag.dc.gov/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint
- Calling (202) 442-9828
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer Alert: Protect yourself from scams, price gouging, discrimination, and get information about your rights during the pandemic by reading OAG’s Consumer Alert (available in Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, and Vietnamese).
For more District Government COVID-19 updates visit: coronavirus.dc.gov