Attorney General Ellison settles with gym that violated executive orders
Plainview Wellness Center will pay State $5,000, fully comply with executive orders
March 8, 2020 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that his office has settled its lawsuit against a Wabasha County gym, Plainview Wellness Center, for violations of Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-99.
Per the terms of a consent judgment filed in Wabasha County, House of Iron LLC d/b/a Plainview Wellness Center will pay a $5,000 fine and comply with the requirements of Governor Tim Walz’s current and future executive orders that apply to gyms and fitness centers while those executive orders are fully effective. If Plainview Wellness Center were to violate any of the terms of the consent judgment, it would be subject to a civil penalty of $25,000. All funds received in this settlement go to the State of Minnesota General Fund, not the Attorney General’s Office.
One of the requirements of the executive order — a targeted, four-week dial-back of certain activities to halt the spread of COVID-19 — was that gyms were to close to the public starting Friday, November 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. until December 18, 2020 at 11:59 p.m (later extended to January 10, 2021). Despite efforts by the Attorney General’s Office to gain compliance with the requirements to stop the spread of COVID-19, Plainview Wellness Center remained open when Executive Order 20-99 went into effect and invited members of the public via social media to come to the gym to work out and attend fitness classes.
On November 24, 2020, Attorney General Ellison’s office filed a lawsuit against the gym for openly violating the ban on gyms being open to the public. On November 25, 2020, the office filed for a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against Plainview Wellness Center. The fitness center stayed open in violation until a Wabasha County District Court issued a temporary injunction on December 2, 2020, and ordered that Plainview Wellness Center temporarily close in compliance.
“It’s every Minnesotan’s responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19. I thank this business for agreeing to meet its responsibility and rejoin the vast majority of Minnesota businesses that are already doing so,” Attorney General Ellison said. “The situation is improving but we’re not out of the woods yet, so we must all keep following the COVID guidance and restrictions. My top priority has always been educating Minnesotans about their responsibility and winning voluntary compliance. Enforcement has been and will continue to be a last resort.”
This represents the fourth settlement the Attorney General’s office has reached with businesses against which it had filed enforcement actions for violating the terms of Executive Orders 20-99 and 20-103.
Attorney General Ellison reminds Minnesotans that they can report COVID-19-related concerns and complaints either through the Office’s dedicated COVID-19 online complaint form on his website or by calling his office at (651) 296-3353 (Metro area) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota).