PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olha Rybakoff, Deputy Attorney General
Director, Consumer Protection Unit
Phone: (302) 577-8513
Date: March 11, 2003
GENERAL DISTRIBUTES RESTITUTION CHECKS TO IMAGES HEALTH SPA MEMBERS
RNEY GENERAL DISTRIBUTES RESTITUTION CHECKS TO IMAGES HEALTH SPA MEMBERS
(Dover, DE): Attorney
General Jane Brady's office is sending out $31,753.86 in restitution checks,
which represents the first round of reimbursement claims processed by her
Consumer Protection Unit as a result of the abrupt closing of the Images Health
Spa in Dover, Delaware on September 4, 2002.
Two hundred seventy-four (274) restitution checks are being mailed out,
and up to an additional ninety-three (93) checks are expected to be processed
and mailed during the next several weeks, giving affected consumers several more
thousand dollars in restitution.
Delaware law, health spas operating in the state of Delaware who base their
memberships on contracts of three months or longer, are required to register
annually with the Consumer Protection Unit.
Annual registration fees paid by Delaware health spas when they register
go into a special "Health Spa Guarantee Fund," which is available to
pay restitution to consumers for the unused portion of their prepaid contracts
whenever a health spa shuts down and fails to reimburse its customers.
am pleased we are able to provide restitution to these victims.
We will also continue the enforcement action in this matter", said
Attorney General Brady.
The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit filed a civil enforcement lawsuit against the owners and operators of the Images health spa in the Court of Chancery on June 13, 2002, alleging various violations of Delaware's consumer protection and health spa laws. Lifestyles Fitness and Racquet Club Inc., the corporation that owns the Dover Images health spa, filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2002. However, bankruptcy proceedings do not affect the Attorney General's ability to investigate and enforce state consumer protection laws
Under Delaware law, consumers have six months to file reimbursement claims for the unused portion of their health spa memberships whenever a health spa closes and does not provide an alternative facility to consumers within 15 miles from the closed location. The six-month claim period for the Dover Images Health Spa ended on February 4, 2003.