The owner of an Azusa gym agreed Tuesday to continue his shutdown of operations, a month after lawyers for Los Angeles County filed suit to force him to do so.
Charles Crossland had been holding indoor activities at Triad Fitness “in violation of all applicable state and local health orders, including the Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community for Control of COVID-19 Order issued by the county Health Officer,” according to the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint filed Dec. 4.
Crossland agreed previously to a temporary restraining order. During a hearing Tuesday before Judge Mary H. Strobel, he did not oppose a preliminary injunction.
On Dec. 9, Strobel issued a TRO against David Fischer and his Powerhouse Gym in Torrance, which also has continued to hold indoor operations, according to court papers filed by the county. Fischer had opposed the TRO and Strobel Tuesday set another hearing for Wednesday on whether to give him more time to prepare an opposition to the preliminary injunction.
In a tentative ruling, Strobel said she was inclined to grant the preliminary injunction against Fisher and Powerhouse Gym.
“Plaintiffs (offer) evidence showing that Powerhouse has violated applicable health orders by operating indoor fitness activities throughout the summer despite multiple issuances of written directives to take corrective action…,” the judge wrote.
In her court papers, Fisher’s lawyer, April D. Moore, maintains that she needs a delay in the hearing on the preliminary injunction so she can obtain the input of an expert witness who will not be available until after Jan. 18. Moore also stated in her court papers that since a vaccine for COVID-19 has been approved by the FDA and is being distributed, the issuance of a preliminary injunction would constitute a “governmental taking.”
In support of their arguments for enjoining the Powerhouse Gym’s indoor operations, county lawyers offered a declaration from Department of Public Health inspector Arsenio Argel. He said he made his 10th inspection of the Powerhouse Gym on Nov. 24.
“I arrived at Powerhouse at 9:45 a.m. and observed at least two dozen patrons exercising inside the facilities in violation of the health and closure orders,” Argel said of the Hawthorne Boulevard facility.
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