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WA gym owner says AG Ferguson lawsuit would ‘charge $2,000’ per customer

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently targeted two gyms choosing to operate in the state just hours before the governor said small gym classes and sessions can actually open in phase number two.

Mike Jellison is owner of one of the gyms being sued, PA Fitness in Arlington, and joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss the lawsuit, and how there are a number of gyms that are staying open, trying to hide from Ferguson.

When he got the notice, what went through his mind?

“I didn’t think much of it, but after consulting my attorney, … decided to kind of reconsider the ramifications of the suit itself, basically it would have sank my family, sank my owners’ families,” he said.

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“It’s totally money motivated, had nothing to do with corona … because nobody else was open and we were open. So they wanted to charge me $2,000 a head for each person who would come in the door, which would add up to a $1 million a day, and top of that, they wanted us to pay for their lawyer fees.”

Upon dealing with the realities of the Ferguson lawsuit, Jellison realized he had to close his doors.

“We have no choice, we had to actually close the doors at this point in time. It’s unfortunate and a lot of people are going to be hurt because they need this for physical and mental health. It’s just a tragic thing.”

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Jellison finds himself in the same position as when he decided to open, which is just an economically difficult time. Now many businesses across state are dealing with the same situation. Does he anticipate continuing to listen to the order or planning on doing something else?

“I was thinking about reopening out on the reservation because they don’t seem to have the same rules,” he said, laughing. “Because then I could just pop up and they couldn’t do anything about it at the federal government.”

“I have two lawyers involved in some lawsuits and I do have one lawsuit at the Supreme State Supreme Court that’s being filed tomorrow with Tim Eyman and [lawyer] Stephen Pidgeon … So we’re filing that there’s going to be probably anywhere from 100 to 150 mad gym owners on the steps. We’re holding little rally, and we’re going to see if we can get a little stir of what our pain is really about.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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