Equinox has been taking lots of heat since the gym chain erected two enormous billboards outside its West Village location over the holidays: The move outraged local community groups and led the city's Department of Buildings and Landmark Preservation Commission to threaten the company with steep fines if it didn't pull them down. Equinox has until tomorrow to remove the ads, and the failed campaign will end up costing the company a good deal of money in the process. But the gym chain just walked away with a victory in a Manhattan courtroom, so maybe the week will go down as a wash.
Last year, a 28-year-old woman filed a lawsuit against Equinox, claiming she'd been sexually assaulted by her trainer at the East 85th Street location on more than a dozen occasions in 2006 and 2007. She never reported the alleged attacks to the police, though, or notified gym management. But not because she was embarrassed, or fearful that her trainer would retaliate against her, or anything like that. She says she was worried that if she said anything, she might lose her gym membership and, you know, might be forced to work out elsewhere. (Can you think of a fate worse than having to go from an Equinox to a New York Sports Club? We certainly can't.)
A judge dismissed the suit last week: