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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Gym members sue Chicago Athletic Club, others for canceling rewards program with no notice


By Charmaine Little | Jul 31, 2019

CHICAGO -- Former members have filed a class action lawsuit against the Chicago Athletic Club and other related companies, alleging they were not informed that the clubs' rewards system would be terminated. 

Andy Ambrosius, Dave Crabill and Michelle Sobarnia filed the lawsuit July 24 in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, against Chicago Athletic Clubs LLC, along with Evanston Athletic Club Inc., Lincoln Park Athletic Club., LPAC Holdings LLC, Westloop Athletic Club LLC, Lakeview Athletic Club Inc., Lincoln Square Athletic Club LLC, Wicker Park Athletic Club LLC and Bucktown Athletic Club LLC. 

The plaintiffs argue the companies ended their CAC rewards program immediately with no notice. The program previously allowed members to be awarded points when they took part in certain activities like referring friends, finishing gym challenges, buying personal training and even simply attending the gym, the suit alleges. Members, the lawsuit states, then subsequently would use those points to purchase goods and services like training sessions, guest passes and monthly membership costs.

The plaintiffs allege not only did they not know about the program ending, but the athletic clubs failed to compensate them for the unused points they had earned. 

“Because [the] defendants terminated the CAC rewards program without prior notice to plaintiffs and class members, plaintiffs and class members could not redeem the CAC rewards points that they earned and those points became worthless,” the plaintiffs said.

They also pointed out that the athletic clubs require them to give a 30-day notice before canceling membership, yet they were not extended the same courtesy when the gyms terminated the points program.

They are alleging violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment. The plaintiffs further alleged the gyms tried to “partially reinstate” the points program after Ambrosius filed a lawsuit.

The class consists of “all persons who were active members of one of the defendants’ gyms on July 16, 2018, and who had accrued unused CAC rewards points,” according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs also demanded a jury trial.

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Thomas A. Zimmerman Jr.,  Sharon A. Harris, Matthew C. De Re and Nickolas J. Hagman, of the Zimmerman Law Offices, of Chicago.

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