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Thread: Muscle Loss and Age

  1. #321
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    Thanks.

    You know I think it's really rude of them! They make this big fuss about how they don't owe me a refund, and then they don't even bother to show up and fight. There's something really inconsiderate and cowardly about that. They're a bunch of slimy opportunists who think they can cash in on my misfortune.
    Yes - I only went to small claims once -and lost -but he showed up and I was able to tell him what I thought of him.

  2. #322
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    The gym defaulted (didn't show up). So, I completed a certification of proof and requested a default judgement.

    Hopefully, I win. If I lose, I will appeal.
    Well, I think I'm finally going to be getting my money back.

    It's been an interesting experience. Here's how things went down:

    About a week after I filed for the default judgment, I received a postcard informing me that a "proof hearing" had been scheduled on 9/10 (today). I was a little dismayed by this, because according to the court's website, it meant that the judge required additional proof in order to make a decision about my case. I'd submitted all of my proof documentation with the my default judgment request, and I felt I had proven my case. What more did they need? I honestly started to think that someone in the county court was in cahoots with the gym!

    I put the case on the back burner and focused on other things for a while. However, it remained in the back of my mind as a source of frustration and irritation. I couldn't figure out what the judge needed to hear that I hadn't already provided. So, in lieu of doing nothing I decided to augment the facts of the matter. When I had my next follow-up appointment with the pain management doctor, I asked him to write a letter in support of me not pursuing gym activities. He provided the letter along with a description of my diagnoses, office evaluations, and post-operative reports.

    Then it occurred to me that the judge might not understand what CrossFIT was, and why that particular type of exercise could cause further damage to my back. I wasn't sure how to convincingly explain it to a judge who might already be in doubt as to the validity of my claim. So, at my next appointment with my second chiropractor, I asked him to provide a letter specifically stating that CrossFIT would be detrimental to someone with my injuries. My chiropractor provided the letter and stated that I should completely refrain from all such activity.

    On 8/26, I received a voicemail from a lawyer representing my CrossFIT gym asking to discuss the case with me "real quick." I ignored the call because I was on vacation and didn't want to lend any headspace to stressful bullsht. Also, fck them. I waited in court for them for half a day. They could wait a week for me to relax.

    On 8/30, I received a copy of the lawyer's motion to the court vacate the default judgment and restore the matter to the trial calendar. The motion had been sent on 8/29, a couple days after the lawyer left me the voicemail. The motion stated that the gym did not breach their contract because the contract said nothing about entitling a customer to a refund upon cancellation of a membership. That was the same crappy argument that the gym used. I wondered if the lawyer had actually read my complaint, which (in my opinion) decimated that claim.

    I finally returned the lawyer's call and left a voicemail last Wednesday, at around 6:30 AM. I meant to do it on Tuesday, but I was too busy and forgot.

    The next day, Thursday, I received another postcard from the court converting my "proof hearing" to a "motion hearing." That gave me a little more faith in the court--maybe this judge simply wants to hear every case and doesn't like making it easy for anybody. Fair enough.

    Notice of the motion hearing apparently diminished the lawyer's faith in the court because on Friday, the lawyer called again and left a voicemail. He wanted to see if we could settle instead of "wasting our time at court next week." He said he didn't know if I was familiar with small claims court, but I could be sitting there from 8AM to 4PM and still not have my case heard, and why don't I call him back and let's see if we can work this out together.

    Unfortunately for the lawyer, I'd left my phone at home and did not get the voicemail until I got home from work. There was technically still time to return his call, but my weekend was beginning, so I didn't call back until yesterday at 6:30 AM. At around 10:00 AM, the lawyer called back, but I was in the middle of working and didn't answer. I returned the call around 2PM and we spoke. He offered to settle for $400, a ridiculous amount considering that I am suing for a little over $1300. I said, "No."

    The lawyer tried to convince me that my case wouldn't win because my doctor's note merely said I couldn't use the gym for six months instead of in excess of six months, which is what the membership agreement said. This had actually been a concern of mine when I first considered filing suit. But I decided to go ahead with the case anyway because I felt I could prove that the intent of the letter was clear to the gym's ownership. I said to the lawyer, "It's going to be in excess of six months."

    It was interesting to me that the lawyer had tried two arguments that I'd already developed strategies to address. I had prepared a couple other angles to argue, and it gave me confidence that I was on the right track in preparing for the case.

    The lawyer asked if I was still being treated for my injuries. I said yes. He asked if I would tell him the nature of my injuries and I said, "Listen, I'll tell you if you want to know. But the point of this case is that the contract said I could cancel with a doctor's letter. I provided a doctor's letter and they're not honoring that." He said he'd call the gym's owner to see how they wanted to proceed. At this point, we exchanged email addresses and our correspondence continued in writing.

    Via email, the lawyer asked if I could provide a doctor's note for the time after I was excused for six months. He reiterated that the membership agreement stated that I needed a note excusing me for greater than six months, and that the note I provided excused me for six months only. After obtaining his promise of confidentiality, I sent him the second chiropractor's letter and the letter from my pain management doctor with all of the details about my diagnoses. I pointed out that the gym never expressed a problem with the doctor's note I'd provided, that they in fact acknowledged in writing their understanding of its intent, and that if they'd told me the letter wasn't sufficient to cancel my membership, I would have had my doctor revise it immediately.

    I left it at that and did not check my email again until after today's motion hearing. This was due to the fact that I have trouble accessing that email from my home computer.

    Today, I showed up in court but the lawyer did not. The judge granted his motion to vacate the default judgment and restored the case to the trial calendar. I asked, "Does this mean I'll be receiving another postcard?" The judge said, "Yes." So, I left the courthouse and went to work. I checked my email and saw that the lawyer had sent me an email around 4PM stating that the gym would refund the entire amount to me. He said he'd inform the court and asked for my address so that they could mail the check.

    I'm glad I got that email today and not yesterday. If I'd gotten the email yesterday, I wouldn't have known whether to show up for court today or not. By showing up for court, I ensured that the matter was not dismissed and I will have recourse if the gym does not send me the check.

  3. #323
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    Sounds like an excellent result! I've heard of CrossFit. Sorry it was so challenging and frustrating!!

  4. #324
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, CrossFIT isn't a franchise; it's just an affiliation. The actions of this gym don't represent all CrossFIT gyms (or "boxes" and they like to call themselves).

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  6. #325
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    Just to be clear, CrossFIT isn't a franchise; it's just an affiliation. The actions of this gym don't represent all CrossFIT gyms (or "boxes" and they like to call themselves).
    I understand!

  7. #326
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Well, it's not over yet. Shortly after I posted my update, I received a CC of the gym's lawyer's letter to the courthouse advising them that the matter had been settled and the case could be dismissed. This threw a wrench in my plan, which was to keep the case on the trial schedule as a contingency if they did not pay.

    I wasn't sure if the defendant could have the case dismissed--and I'm still not sure, actually. I emailed the ombudsman and he contacted the small claims division. A woman from the small claims division contacted me. She was both helpful and unhelpful.

    The unhelpful part was that she vomited information all over me and talked over my questions with assumed answers before fully listening to my questions. So, I was still confused at the end of the conversation, and still unsure of whether my trial date was still intact.

    But I think I got the gist of what she was saying, which was: I don't have a settlement until I have a formal notice stating the amount that will be paid, the manner in which it will be paid, and the date by which it will be paid. All I have right now is an email with an amount, and that is not a formal notice.

    So, I contacted the lawyer and requested the formal notice of settlement. I'll give him a week or so to respond. If I don't get the notice, I'll contact the court to have my trial date restored (or not restored? I really don't know the status!).

    But that's the plan.

  8. #327
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    I hope you get to the bottom of it soon! I hate that kind of thing (it's like calling insurance companies over a wrong bill -I know this is more serious just reminds me of those stressful type calls)

  9. #328
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    Hope you get your money back Jib.

    What's the amount that they should return to you? Isn't this whole ordeal more expensive? ( paying for the lawyer etc etc)

  10. #329
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    I hope you get to the bottom of it soon! I hate that kind of thing (it's like calling insurance companies over a wrong bill -I know this is more serious just reminds me of those stressful type calls)
    Thanks. I'm dealing with insurance crap, too. My doctors assure me that I don't have to worry about it, but seeing the rejected precerts and EOBs come through is still alarming. Plus, the first and only time I spoke to my claims adjuster, she screwed up my car insurance by claiming that my boyfriend was an uninsured driver with access to my car. My insurance shot up by $1500!! Meanwhile, my boyfriend has a completely separate policy underwritten by the same exact insurance company. Totally brainless mistake. And what a struggle to get them to see their mistake!

    Originally Posted by dias
    Hope you get your money back Jib.

    What's the amount that they should return to you? Isn't this whole ordeal more expensive? ( paying for the lawyer etc etc)
    Thanks, Dias. They owe me a little over $1300. I'm not using a lawyer, so I don't have to worry about that expense. And I'm making up the time I'm missing from work by working extra hours during the week and on weekends. Between this lawsuit and the time I have to take off for the injections, I'm pretty much working every day of the week, including weekends! But I feel like it's worth it. I think I'm justified in my claim against my gym, and I wouldn't feel right about walking away from my money without a fight.

  11. #330
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    I am so rooting for you and so sorry about the insurance crap!

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