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Lake County Judge Rules Gyms Can Open Now

Andy Chow

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci has issued a preliminary injunction against the state's public health order closing gyms and fitness centers. The attorneys representing gyms say this ruling has wider implications.

Lucci called the Ohio Department of Health's orders to close gyms "oppressive" and "arbitrary" in his ruling that allows gyms to reopen immediately.

Christopher Finney, attorney with Finney Law Firm, represents about three dozen fitness facilities. He says although gyms are already set to reopen May 26, this ruling could mean Ohio cannot issue orders to close gyms in the future.

"Now people have a fighting chance to get reopened, to stay in business, and to get the government out of their operations," says Finney, who believes the ruling could be applied to all gyms around the state.

The Ohio Department of Health is reviewing the ruling with legal counsel.

Gov. Mike DeWine's office issued a statement saying "The ruling affirms that facilities must follow Ohio Department of Health safety protocols to keep patrons and all Ohioans safe and healthy. These facilities were due to open Tuesday anyways. However, our office disagrees with the ruling’s analysis of law."

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