Lake County Judge Says Order Closing Ohio Gyms Is 'Oppressive'

May 21, 2020

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci has issued a preliminary injunction against the state's public health order closing gyms and fitness centers. The attorneys representing gyms say this ruling has wider implications.

In his decision Wednesday, Lucci called the Ohio Department of Health's orders to close gyms "oppressive" and "arbitrary." The ruling allows gyms to reopen immediately, but only in Lake County.

Gyms in Ohio are scheduled to reopen on May 26.

Christopher Finney, an attorney with Finney Law Firm, represents about three dozen fitness facilitiess says although gyms already have a reopening date, this ruling could mean Ohio cannot issue orders to close gyms in the future.

"Now people have a fighting chance to get reopened, to stay in business, and to get the government out of their operations," Finney says.

He says he believes the ruling could be applied to all gyms around the state.

The Ohio Department of Health is reviewing the ruling with legal counsel.

Gov. Mike DeWine's office issued a statement, saying, "The ruling affirms that facilities must follow Ohio Department of Health safety protocols to keep patrons and all Ohioans safe and healthy. These facilities were due to open Tuesday anyways. However, our office disagrees with the ruling’s analysis of law."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.