CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The state can’t impose penalties on gyms for being open as long as they follow the safety guidelines, according to a court ruling.
Judge Eugene Lucci ruled state and county health officials cannot take any action against fitness centers that violate the safety restrictions, court records say.
The ruling states that Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Acton, the Lake County General Health District, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and the attorney general are prohibited from imposing any penalties for non-compliance of the Department of Health director’s order, given that the gymnasiums, health clubs, fitness centers, gyms and workout facilities.
[Read the full ruling below]
Chris Finney, the head of Finney Law Firm, the firm that represented the gyms in this case, said according to the order, the facilities can open immediately.
The ruling stated that those facilities do need to operate in compliance with all safety regulations.
The lawsuit filed last week in Lake County against Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton represented 35 gyms across the state.
The lawsuit claimed the state’s guidelines were not constitutional.
Four gyms in the Tri-State were part of the suit: Small Town Fitness in Highland County, Iron Plate Gym in Milford, Evolution Fitness and Lifestyle Management in Cincinnati and Comatives Development Group in Cincinnati.
The owner of Iron Plate Gym, Ron Reardon, says while the coronavirus is serious, opening his gym is also serious for his members. A large majority of his gym’s members are military veterans.
“The COVID-19 is serious business. It is also serious business for the mental health of those that are stuck in their houses and can’t release that energy,” says Reardon.
Veterans account for 84% of the members at the Iron Plate Gym in Milford.
Reardon says some of those vets have PTSD and that’s why he joined the lawsuit.
“This is where they come to lower their anxiety," Reardon explains. "If they can’t come here and they’re stuck in their houses, it’s a big concern for us.”
Here is the complete list of gyms in the complaint:
- Accelerated Fitness at 2736 Medina Rd., Suite 103 in Medina
- Advanced Performance Crossfit at 201 Great Oaks Trl. in Wadsworth
- Aim Performance Training at 7266 Commerce Dr. in Mentor
- Armstrong Fitness at 402 N. Lake St. in Madison
- Bar Benders at 614 Glover St. in Portsmouth
- Blind Dog Gym at 1607 Stage Rd. 60, Building E Suite 52 in Vermilion
- Coca Crossfit at 34601 Mills Rd. in North Ridgeville
- Crossfit Pickerington at 671 Windmiller Dr. in Pickerington
- Diamond Strength Center at 6044 State Rt. 139 in Lucasville
- Everybodies Gym at 357 Washington St. in Chardon
- Evolution Fitness & Lifestyle Management at 4421 Linden Ave. in Cincinnati
- Fredrick’s Fit Factory at 7247 Industrial Park Blvd. in Mentor
- Friendship Fitness at 6625 Reflections Dr. in Dublin
- Gracie Cincinnati at 11263 Williamson Rd. in Blue Ash
- Hoisting Steel Strength and Fitness Club at 240 Tenney Ave. in Amherst
- Iron Plate Gym at 1152 State Rt. 131 in Milford
- Kent Barbell Club at 108 W. College Ave. in Kent
- Lexen Xtreme Strength Training at 3679 Garden Ct. in Grove City
- Lucas Training at 4270 Strausser St. NW in North Canton
- Main Street Gym at 669 E. Main St. in Geneva
- Ohio Sports and Fitness at 36540 Biltmore Pl. in Willoughby
- Ohio Strength at 279 E. 5th Ave. in Columbus
- Old School Iron at 5139 W. 140th St. in Brook Park
- Powerhouse Gym of Eastlake at 34700 Vine St., Suite 300 in Eastlake
- Rock House Fitness at 1847 N. Ridge Rd. in Painesville
- Small Town Fitness at 403 Jefferson St. in Greenfield
- Snap Fitness at 209 Mansfield Ave. in Shelby
- Street Wise Self Defense at 10880 Smoke Road SW in Pataskala
- Summit Martial Arts at 425 S. Sandusky St. in Delaware
- Team BBS at 730 Bev Rd. in Youngstown
- The Fieldhouse Sports and Recreation Center at 300 Sunrise Center Rd. in Zanesville
- The Spot Athletics at 1515 Delashmut Ave. in Columbus
- Unrivaled Strength and Fitness at 4264 Strausser St. NW in North Canton
- The Warehouse Gym & Fitness at 1110 Chambers Rd. in Columbus
- Wooster Total Fitness Center at 1400 Columbus Rd. in Wooster
Last week, it was announced gyms and fitness centers would be able to reopen on May 26 if they follow safety guidelines.
Finney said he believes the state will appeal.