The California Fitness Alliance (CFA) is disappointed in Friday’s ruling in Los Angeles Superior Court that granted the State of California’s request to temporarily block two properly-noticed depositions, including the deposition of Dr. Sonia Angell, the former State Public Health Officer who allowed indoor fitness establishments to reopen at half capacity in June before shutting them down without evidence on July 13. Indoor fitness establishments, despite implementing strict safety protocols, still have not reopened in many counties across the state and the ones that are open are in jeopardy of closing because of the State’s arbitrary tier system that does not rely on science or data.
“We are disappointed that the judge disregarded California law regarding a plaintiff’s right to conduct discovery in civil cases,” said CFA lawyer Scott J. Street. “There is no pandemic exception to this rule. We are encouraged, though, by the judge’s comments that this is just a temporary order and his direction that the State should provide us with the documents it relied on when, contrary to every other state in America, it designated indoor fitness as non-essential and a high-risk environment.”
The State’s refusal to provide information about its decision-making process in court is especially discouraging since the State has been vigorously pursuing cases against the federal government this year.
“It’s disingenuous for the Attorney General to aggressively pursue discovery from the federal government, despite the pandemic, but use the pandemic as a shield to block discovery when the State is the defendant rather than the plaintiff,” Street added. “We hope the State will follow the judge’s suggestion and work with us, in good faith, to provide CFA with documents that support the extreme position it has taken toward fitness. If not, we will ask the judge to order the State to do just that. Nobody is above the law, even during a pandemic.”
CFA believes everyone deserves access to safe and equitable access to fitness, especially as the pandemic continues to take its toll on the mental and physical well-being of Californians. Exercise is critical to maintaining a healthy immune system. CFA members are committed to operating with strict and proven safety protocols including requiring masks 100% of the time, distanced workouts, capacity restrictions and enhanced cleaning and sanitation.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA FITNESS ALLIANCE
The California Fitness Alliance is the united voice of fitness professionals in California advocating for growth for the fitness industry in a safe and healthy way to serve more and keep our state fit. Our members include health clubs, boutiques, studios, fitness professionals, manufactures and suppliers, and individuals. We represent all regions of the state, urban and rural, small and large. We provide everything from basic workout facilities to full-service programs.
This article was released by the California Fitness Alliance.