With businesses struggling to survive government-imposed shutdowns, an imminent tidal wave of litigation will compound their difficulties as consumers and injured parties seek compensation for COVID-related losses. The plaintiffs bar has overcome any perceived stigma from capitalizing on the pandemic, and the recent flurry of class actions filings, some right here in South Florida, may be the tip of the iceberg for what lies ahead.

Consumer Class Actions

Consumer class actions have been filed recently against businesses that continued charging dues and membership fees despite their business operations being substantially shut down or curtailed because of the pandemic. Blank v. Youfit Health Clubs, No. CACE2006161 (Broward Circuit, Fla.) involved allegations of deceptive trade practices when the gym continued to charge members monthly fees despite its facilities being closed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. See also Delvercchio v. Boston Sports Clubs, No. 20-cv-10666 (D. Mass.); Jampol v. Blink Holdings, No. 20-cv-02760 (S.D.N.Y.); and Namorato v. New York Sports Clubs, No. 20-cv-02580 (S.D.N.Y.) Similarly, in Hunt v. Vail, 4:20-cv-02463 (N.D. Cal.) the plaintiff sued Vail Resorts for refusing to refund passholder fees when it closed its mountain for the ski season.

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