An appeals court in Midland, Michigan has ruled in favour of a woman suing a gym chain for allowing transgender women access to female changing facilities.
In 2015, then 48 year-old Yvette Cormier complained to management at a Midland Planet Fitness after seeing a trans woman in the locker room. She also warned other customers about what she had seen.
Planet Fitness responded by cancelling her membership due to ‘inappropriate and disruptive’ behavior. Planet Fitness spokeswoman McCall Gosselin said in 2015 that Cormier violated their ‘judgement-free zone’ policy.
‘Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity,’ Gossellin told the Free Press.
Cormier then sued the chain for £25,000, citing violation of privacy, severe emotional distress and damage to her reputation as a result of Planet Fitness’s actions.
Yvette lost her case after both a Michigan lower court and a state court of appeals agreed she had suffered no invasion of privacy.
Court found Planet Fitness ‘violated’ their contract
However, the Michigan Supreme Court revived the case in April this year. The court found that Planet Fitness violated its contract with Cormier.
Cormier stated that by allowing access to ‘men who self-identify as women’, Planet Fitness was misrepresenting their promise to provide private women’s locker rooms.
The court wrote: ‘Plaintiff’s actions indicate that she strongly preferred a locker room and a restroom in which individuals who are assigned biologically male are not present and it is thus reasonable to infer that defendants’ failure to inform plaintiff of the unwritten policy affected her decision to join the gym.’
The court cited a Michigan law concerning Planet Fitness’s ‘failing to reveal a material fact’ in an attempt to ‘mislead or deceive the consumer.’
The case is now back in the hands of the lower court for examination. Cormier’s lawyer David Kallman intends to file a motion for summary disposition, meaning that his plaintiff wins the case without the need for a trial.
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