A CBAP instructor at a Philadelphia fitness studio told a trainer that the best thing for anyone to do is “cab out” at the fitness studio, according to a court filing.
In the suit filed Tuesday, attorneys for the fitness industry group representing several of the instructors say the trainer, Cesar Gonzalez, gave the advice during a Feb. 17 meeting at the “cabin” gym in Philadelphia’s Hilton Garden Inn.
The attorney for the Fitness Industry Council, who represents several of those instructors, said he had not seen the filing but that the trainer’s remarks “couldn’t have been more inappropriate.”
The attorney, Paul Gartland, said that while there was nothing illegal about the meeting, the attorney representing the fitness instructors has “grave concerns” about Gonzalez.
The fitness instructors who were represented in the suit by the Fitness Professionals Association say they are still in “deep shock” about what happened at the Hilton Garden in Philadelphia, and the company that owns the Hilton Gardens is cooperating with investigators.
“We feel betrayed by Mr. Gonzalez’s actions, and we are disappointed by the judge’s ruling,” the Fitness Professional Association of America said in a statement.
“This is the first time we have heard of a court order forcing us to come forward and address these allegations.
The Fitness Professional Association of the United States is committed to providing high-quality, high-impact training for our members and is committed and ready to take any legal action necessary to resolve this matter.”
In the lawsuit, the Fitness Association also said that the hotel where the meeting was held was not in compliance with federal laws regarding accommodations for people with disabilities, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The suit said that when the meeting took place, the trainer was not aware that the fitness class was held at a hotel that didn’t have a handicap elevator.
The hotel has since been re-opened, the lawsuit said.
The attorneys for a host of fitness instructors, including two who have represented at least one of the fitness trainers, say that Gonzalez “has engaged in inappropriate conduct” and that they “are committed to bringing the trainer and other employees of the Hilton Fitness Center to justice.”
The Fitness Industry Certification Council said that, based on Gonzalez’s “excessive and improper” remarks, it has filed a complaint with the Office of Compliance with the city of Philadelphia.
The lawsuit also seeks $100,000 in damages, as well as punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
The case is Garcia v.
Hilton Garden Hotel, 715 F. Supp.
2d 1413, 1417 (N.D. Pa.
April 17, 2019).