Small gym owners across state sue Gov. Whitmer over closure

About 120 independently owned gyms mostly in metro Detroit banned together claiming in a lawsuit that Governor Gretchen Whitmer's continued closure of them are unconstitutional.

"I couldn't stand by and not take action," said Greg Hill.

Hill and his wife are owners of Ideal Core, a small Pilates studio in Lake Orion. They are struggling, like hundreds of other gyms that are closed. 

"Right now there is a lot of gyms that are facing either a closed door situation the rest of their lives or open illegally right now," Hill said.

First, Hill and colleagues set up coalition of small gyms, the acronym is LIFFT- then, they filed suit in federal court, naming Gov. Whitmer, claiming some of her executive orders are unconstitutional. 

"My clients aren't political - they aren't Democrats, they're not Republicans, they're business owners," said attorney Scott Erskine, Erskine Law PC.

Erskine is representing the 120-plus gyms in the suit - some already closing, others teetering, as the bills keep coming and federal loans dry up. 

"My clients obviously are anxious to get back open and salvage their business," Erskine said.

Hill says their coalition of small gyms has an in-depth plan to reopen.  They would run by appointment only, operate at 25 percent capacity and do heavy duty cleaning between clients. 

"The plan that we laid out is even more strict than the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for opening schools," Hill said.

Whitmer officially got served with the suit Tuesday after she opened up a new wave of businesses this week. But Hill says, gyms haven't even been considered yet -  hoping this lawsuit might tip her hand.

"We are not just trying to force this down anyone's throat," Hill said. "We're trying to make sure every single gym we represent is safe and legal."