AG Ferguson sues two gyms operating during stay-home order

Washington Attorney General
Washington Attorney General's Office
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed consumer protection lawsuits against two gyms that have opened in violation of the state stay-home order.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, the two businesses have received multiple warnings to close for the stay-home order, and that by staying open, they are endangering public health. Also, being the only two gyms open gives them an unfair advantage over their competitors, who remain closed to comply with the Governor’s orders, says the AG’s office.

Northwest Fitness Co. in Puyallup and Power Alley Fitness in Arlington have both received cease and desist letters on Friday, the AG’s final warning before the lawsuits were filed late Monday.

“We understand the financial impact of Stay Home, Stay Health on small businesses, but that does not exempt you from the requirement to remain closed,” read the letters. “The Stay Home, Stay Health order is necessary for public health. The COVID-19 virus spreads easily from person to person and the only way to control it, and save lives, is to maintain social distancing, including closing nonessential businesses. By keeping your business open, you are endangering the lives of your customers and your community.

“It is also unfair to your competitors for you to be open for business while they are complying with the Proclamation and making sacrifices for the benefit of the community. Opening your business when competing fitness centers have closed as required by law to protect the health of all Washingtonians gives you an unfair advantage over your competitors. In order to level the playing field and ensure the market is fair for all, you must close your doors.”

The AG’s office says that the court can impose fines of up to $2,000 according to the Consumer Protection Act.

Additionally, the AG’s office notes that the City of Arlington sent a letter to Power Alley Fitness, threatening to revoke their business license, seek a court order, impose daily fines or even seek criminal prosecution if they continued operating unlawfully.