February 1, 2006
Warsaw, Mo. — A fitness and health spa in Warsaw that collected membership fees in advance before suddenly going out of business last November needs to issue refunds to its former customers, Attorney General Jay Nixon says.
Nixon filed a lawsuit today in Benton County Circuit Court, stating that Millennium Fitness violated Missouri consumer protection laws. The lawsuit says consumers signed contracts with Millennium Fitness under which they paid for their memberships in advance or in future installments. On or around Nov. 28, Millenium Fitness permanently closed the spa and went out of business. The spa owners have not issued refunds to their former customers who had time remaining on their health spa contracts.
"Consumers commonly pay in advance for health spa memberships, and Missouri’s health spa laws are set up to protect them if the spa goes out of business," Nixon said. "We want to ensure that consumers aren’t left holding the bag just because this business went belly-up."
Nixon is also alleging that Millennium Fitness deceived its customers into believing that the business would issue refunds; failed to register with the Attorney General’s office as required by law; and failed to provide alternative spa services at another location within ten miles of its location after it closed, a requirement under Missouri law.
The lawsuit asks that the court require Millennium Fitness to provide restitution to all individuals who purchased health spa services and failed to receive those services when the business went out of business; to pay a civil penalty to the state of $1,000 per violation, as well as 10 percent of the total restitution ordered against the business; and for Millennium Fitness to pay all court, investigative and prosecution costs in the case.