Libertarian Group Sues State Again Over Shutdown Orders, This Time For Closed Gyms

May 14, 2020

A group of 35 independent gyms and fitness centers is suing the state, saying they could reopen for business safely but they’re not being allowed to.

Attorney Maurice Thompson said in his filing that gyms maintain private memberships, control who can come in and often operate by appointment, they "pose a significantly lower risk of harmful infections than nearly any alternative operation." And he added that while "nearly 100 percent of deaths" from COVID-19 are people over 60, the same percentage of his clients' customers are under 60.

Thompson also said these gyms should never have been closed because they could have been operating safely all along.

Thompson’s libertarian 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed an earlier suit for a bridal shop that said it was being unfairly shut down as a non-essential business. Thompson lost that case, but says this one is even stronger because the original Stay at Home order has changed.             

“The new Stay Safe Ohio order, in basically opening 80% of the economy and leaving gyms out, is much more arbitrary and much more unequal," Thompson said.

Gov. Mike DeWine has of the lawsuit that he gets "sued a lot", and added that his working group of gym and fitness center management will have a reopening plan soon.