Wednesday, February 15, 2017

State attorney general sues David Barton Gyms following sudden closure in December

[Image from Dec. 21 via]

Back in December, the four David Barton Gym locations in Manhattan, including on Astor Place, shut down without any warning to its members or staff.

Now, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit against Club Ventures Investments LLC d/b/a David Barton Gyms (DBG).

Here's more from a media advisory that Schneiderman's office shared today:

According to the lawsuit, over 5,000 members enrolled in these four New York City health club facilities, many of whom had paid hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in advance for membership and training packages. At least one consumer complained that he had paid in excess of $15,000. Although Defendants were well aware that the health clubs were in a financially precarious position, they continued to enroll new members and accept payments for future services up through early December 2016. The health clubs failed to provide any advance notice to members that they were going to close. The clubs subsequently filed for bankruptcy.

“As alleged in our complaint, David Barton Gyms acted irresponsibly and left their members without any recourse to recover lost payments, causing some to lose thousands of dollars,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Health clubs must own up to their responsibilities to their members. They cannot be open one day and closed the next without proper notice to their membership, and must provide refunds for services not provided.” During the early hours of December 21, a security company retained by DBG changed the locks on the doors at each facility and affixed a notice to the outside doors ... DBG was promoting itself on social media up to two days before it closed.

The Attorney General’s office is seeking full restitution and an accounting to determine to whom the health clubs owe money. The office will closely monitor the bankruptcy proceedings and take whatever actions are warranted to protect the interests of the consumers.

Club Ventures and the other corporate defendants purchased the facilities from David Barton, the original owner, in 2013.

Consumers who were DBG members and believe they are owed a refund are urged to file a complaint online or call 1-800-771-7755. Consumers who paid by credit card are also advised to contact their credit card company and dispute the charges due to the failure of the gyms to provide the contracted services.

The Astor Place location opened in 2009. The space was previously a Barnes & Noble.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] David Barton Gyms abruptly close


Anonymous said...

Good! Think of all the various gyms that have closed suddenly over the many years, leaving their "valued members" out a ton of money and without much recourse. I hope Schneiderman succeeds in making an example out of this, and perhaps other gyms will think twice about literally stealing away in the night with their members' $$$.

Giovanni said...

When will people learn that these gyms are all the same, when they close down you have to chase them for your money. And who would give them $15,000 in advance? That's just nuts.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what happened with Dolphin members, on east 4th, after their literal overnight close. I remember the evgrieve article stating they were asking people to upgrade the night before...

Anonymous said...

I miss that Barnes and Noble

Anonymous said...

Barnes & Noble? I miss the Conran Shop that predated B&N.

Anonymous said...

Miss the Conrans too! Matter of fact: miss all the fun and funky and different shops we used to have here. It is as if we live in a mall now.