Atlanta lawyer says L.A. Fitness employee made anti-gay
comments, accosted him
ATLANTA A gay Atlanta attorney who says he was subjected to anti-gay remarks and later assaulted during a visit to a health club has filed suit after the company failed to address his complaint about the altercation.
Seth Persily filed a lawsuit Aug. 7 against the national exercise chain L.A. Fitness, claiming that an employee at one of its facilities in Atlanta made anti-gay comments and later accosted him in a locker room on July 18. Persily, who has frequented the L.A. Fitness location in Buckhead for nearly six months, says the company has still done nothing to respond to the complaint he made about the incident.
The lawsuit demands damages for assault, slander and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Persily claims that as he worked out on an elliptical trainer, a female gym guest and a male gym employee using a machine next to him both made anti-gay remarks. Persily says when he asked them to stop, the L.A. Fitness employee said that “gays are nasty.”
The man then challenged Persily to a physical confrontation and later, attempted to strike him in the locker-room after Persily asked other L.A. Fitness employees to help him file a complaint, Persily says.
Persily says he filed a complaint at the health club immediately after the incident and spoke with the manager, but received no response. Steve Koval, Persily’s attorney, says he also contacted the manager of the L.A. Fitness facility but got no response.
L.A. Fitness, based in Irvine, Calif., operates more than 200 facilities in 17 U.S. cities and Canada including 18 clubs in North Texas. The company has health clubs in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
This article appeared in the September 14 edition of the Dallas Voice.