Gym Settles Discrimination Suit Against Former Member
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 26, 2003
PATERSON, NEW JERSEY--Gold's Gym agreed Monday to pay $20,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit filed by former member John Miller.
Miller, who has Tourette's syndrome, joined the local Gold's Gym in 1997. Two years later, he was informed that his membership was being cancelled because he failed to follow the gym's "etiquette and conduct" rules, according to The Record.
People who have Tourette's syndrome typically have what are called "tics" -- movements, gestures, sounds, or words that they cannot control. Mr. Miller often has uncontrollable gestures and coughs when he speaks.
In January 2001 Miller filed a civil suit against Gold's Gym, which has 560 gyms worldwide, claiming it violated New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination.
Miller joined another gym where he says he feels welcome.
"Every day I was thinking about it," Miller said Monday. "It's just such a good feeling now."
Miller's attorney, Joseph Fortunato said, "I think it should make employers and businesses more careful before imposing unrealistic restrictions on people with disabilities."