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According to Well + Good NYC, gym superchain Equinox is suing the owners of Soho Strength Lab, a boutique studio that opened last summer on Mulberry Street. The article explains that Albert Matheny, Ryan Hopkins, and Racked Hottest Trainer contestant Andrew Speer were all former trainers at the Equinox Soho location just five blocks away, and they're being accused of stealing the company's trade secrets and soliciting clients while still employed with Equinox.
"They're definitely being bullies," SSL lawyer Robert Ottinger told Well + Good. "They're trying to remove their best competitors, and there's a slim reed they're hanging onto and accusing them of things they didn't do." Matheny defended himself and his business partners by saying that they "are not a gym in the same sense as Equinox," with no memberships.
To make the matter even messier, SSL is countersuing Equinox for unpaid overtime wages. "They're saying they broke their contract, and we're saying you can't enforce a contract that you yourself broke," said Ottinger.
"We're already working as hard as we can to open a gym, provide the best service to our clients, train people—and this is just another drain, physically, emotionally, and financially," Matheny added.
· Equniox Sues Soho Strength Lab [Well + Good NYC]
· Hottest Trainer Contestant #22: Andrew Speer [Racked NY]
· Soho Strength Lab [Official Site]