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For Immediate Release
June 10, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

CURRAN'S OFFICE FILES CHARGES AGAINST NINE HEALTH CLUBS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has filed administrative charges against nine health clubs, karate schools and weight loss centers for failing to register with the Division under Maryland's health club law. The businesses are:

1. Apolo's Karate, Inc. t/a Apolo's Karate - Pasadena
2. Bare Hills Athletic Club, Inc. t/a The Bare Hills Athletic Club - Baltimore
3. F-W Family Corp. t/a Weight Watchers of Washington D.C. - Rockville
4. Gett Physical, Inc. t/a Gett Physical - Westernport
5. International Tae Kwon Do Academy, Inc. t/a International Tae Kwon Do Academy - Eldersburg
6. Kimbell's Health and Fitness for Women t/a Kimbell's Health and Fitness for Women - Silver Spring
7. Sykesville Tae Kwon Do t/a Sykesville Tae Kwon Do - Eldersburg
8. Westminster Karate Academy t/a Westminster Karate Academy - Westminster
9. Westminster Karate Family Training Center t/a Westminster Karate Family Training Center - Westminster

Under Maryland law, health clubs are required to register annually with the Consumer Protection Division. The law also requires facilities to post a bond or other security with the Division if they collect more than three months' payment in advance from members.

"These laws protect consumers in the event the club should go out of business before a consumer's membership expires," said Curran. "Strict compliance is necessary or else consumers run the risk of losing their money."

Curran urges consumers to call the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6350 before they join a health club, weight loss center or karate school to see if it is properly registered and bonded. Members of the nine charged health clubs can also call that number if they have questions. Consumers can also find advice about joining health clubs on the Attorney General's Web site at www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/tip69.htm.

The public hearing on the charges will be held at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, Md., on July 9, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

 

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