Protection Division Charges Lutherville Health Club Owner for
Collecting Prohibited Fees
MD ( August 16, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F.
Gansler today announced that his Consumer Protection Division
has filed administrative charges against MAXR, LLC and its
owner, Diana Hamilton-Dutt for charging members of a Lutherville
health club initiation fees prohibited under Maryland’s
Health Club law.
The charges allege that in 2006, the Quest Fitness Center owned
by MAXR and located at 1433 York Road in Lutherville, changed its
name to Planet Fitness and required members who had already paid
an initiation fee to join Quest to pay a second initiation fee
to continue as a member of Planet Fitness. The Division alleges
that charging the second initiation fee violates the Health Club
law and Consumer Protection Act.
“Health clubs cannot nickel and dime their members by requiring
them to pay arbitrary fees,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Once
a member has joined a health club, they must be allowed to continue
their membership as long as they pay their dues.”
The charges also allege that MAXR and Dutt also charged members
an annual membership fee, which is also prohibited. The facility
recently changed its name to Spunk Fitness. The charges request
that MAXR and Dutt be ordered to cease collecting prohibited fees,
return the illegal fees previously collected, and pay civil penalties
and costs. A hearing on the charges is scheduled for Tuesday, October
5, 2010 at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley.
Health clubs, self-defense
schools and weight loss centers are required to register with
the Division’s Health Club Registration
Unit. Consumers looking to join these facilities are encouraged
to check whether the facility is registered at the Attorney General’s
website, www.oag.state.md.us/healthclub or by calling (410) 576-6350.