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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 3, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 31
Gym must inform clients that Trans people will be present, Michigan court says
Section One
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New Cuban constitution to guarantee marriage 'without distinction of sex'

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Michigan gym had a duty to inform its clients that Trans people would be present in its locker rooms, a state appeals court has ruled.

The court upheld a complaint by a female patron of a Planet Fitness gym who objected to sharing the locker room with a Trans woman.

In 2015, Yvette Cormier complained to management at a Midland, Michigan, Planet Fitness after seeing a Trans woman in the locker room. She also raised the issue - in what the gym said was a disruptive way - with other clients of the business.

Planet Fitness responded by canceling her membership due to her 'inappropriate and disruptive' behavior. Planet Fitness spokeswoman McCall Gosselin said in 2015 that Cormier violated their 'judgement-free zone' policy.

'Our gender identity nondiscrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity,' Gossellin told the Detroit Free Press.

Cormier then sued Planet Fitness for $25,000, alleging violation of privacy, severe emotional distress, and damage to her reputation as a result of the gym's actions. By allowing access to 'men who self-identify as women,' Planet Fitness was misrepresenting its promise to provide private women's locker rooms, Cormier claimed.

She lost her case, however, with a Michigan trial court and a state court of appeals agreeing that she had suffered no invasion of privacy.

However, the Michigan Supreme Court reviewed Cormier's case in April this year, returning the lawsuit to the state appeals court for reconsideration.

In a new decision on July 29, the appellate court found that Planet Fitness violated its contract with Cormier.

'Plaintiff's actions indicate that she strongly preferred a locker room and a restroom in which individuals who are assigned biologically male are not present, and it is thus reasonable to infer that defendants' failure to inform plaintiff of the unwritten policy affected her decision to join the gym,' the court ruled.

Planet Fitness was guilty of 'failing to reveal a material fact' in an attempt to 'mislead or deceive the consumer,' in violation of Michigan consumer protection laws, the court said.

The case now goes back to the trial court for examination. Cormier's lawyer David Kallman said he intends to file a motion for summary disposition, meaning that his client would win her case without the need for a trial.

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