April 30, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
OFFICE FILES CHARGES AGAINST SIX HEALTH CLUBS AND SELF-DEFENSE SCHOOLS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer
Protection Division has filed charges against six health clubs and
karate schools for failing to register with the Division under Maryland's
Health Club law. The businesses are:
Anita Hardester t/a Westminster Karate Family Training Center -
2. Bare Hills Athletic Club, Inc. t/a The Bare Hills Athletic Club
3. Bethesda Martial Arts Academy - Bethesda
4. Karate Club of America - Silver Spring
5. Kimble's Health and Fitness for Women t/a Kimble's Health and
Fitness for Women - Silver Spring
6. Westminster Karate Academy t/a Westminster Karate Academy - Westminster
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 or charge
an initiation fee of more than $200.
laws protect consumers in the event the club should go out of business
before a consumer's membership expires," said Curran. "Consumers
run the risk of losing their money if they join a facility that
has failed to comply with the law's registration and bonding requirements."
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. Consumers can also
get information about health clubs, weight loss centers or karate
schools on the web at www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/tip69.htm.
A public hearing on the charges will be held at the Maryland Office
of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, in Hunt Valley, on
June 3, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.