New York Post: Lucille Roberts Health Club Lawsuit

Man Sues Women-Only Gym Lucille Roberts Over Text Messages

February 23, 2013, By Matt McNulty and Bruce Golding

The women-only Lucille Roberts health club cluelessly peppered Alex Shiyan with text messages about a sweetheart membership deal.

Just one problem — he’s a man.

The Brooklyn resident became so fed up with the useless offer that he fired back at the fitness giant with a class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court.

“1 Day Sale @ Lucille Roberts. just $5 to register and $15 a month NO CONTRACT,” read the message, according to the suit.

It also urged him to call the franchise operation’s Irvington, NJ, branch, adding, “Ask for Jessica and get a free gift when you join today!”

Shiyan’s suit cited some serious problems with the offer — most notably his gender.

He said the texts have been arriving for several months on a phone he got from the New Jersey law firm where he works in client relations.

“It’s a little funny,” Shiyan said. “I mean, I’m definitely not the target market audience, so what are you going to do? I reached out to an attorney.”

Shiyan’s proposed class-action complaint seeks damages of up to $2,000 “for each and every text” received by him and potentially “thousands” of others, along with a court order barring Lucille Roberts from sending out future unsolicited spam directly to people’s smartphones.

Shiyan, 25, and his lawyer said that they didn’t know how many texts have been sent in total and that they were still in the discovery process.

Lucille Roberts “knowingly and/or willfully” violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by using an “automatic telephone dialing system” to contact him without his permission, the suit says.

Shiyan’s lawyer, Sergei Lemberg, who runs the “Sue Spam Texters” Web site, said he was baffled by the texts.

“It’s hard to know why Lucille Roberts texted my guy. He certainly has no need for women’s fitness,” Lemberg explained.

Kevin Roberts, acting president of Lucille Roberts and a son of the late fitness guru, insisted that the company doesn’t use a mass- texting machine and texts only women “who have come in as guests” or been referred by members.

“It seems very strange,” Roberts said. “It has to be an error because we really don’t text-message men.”

Original story: At the New York Post

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