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’Foreign White Substance’ on Steam Room Floor Spurs Lawsuit Against Manhattan Gym

by Bobby McGuire

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday June 19, 2013

In a lawsuit guaranteed to bring gasps or giggles to the courtroom, a 66 year old Manhattan man is suing Bally's Total Fitness for injuries he incurred from a fall in the steam room of their upper East Side gym as a result of a slippery "foreign white substance" left on the floor.

The New York Daily News reports, plaintiff Marc Moskowitz claimed in court papers that managers at the Bally Total Fitness gym on E. 55th St. were aware that gay "cruising and lewd behavior" is "commonplace at the steam room, sauna and locker rooms." Further stating that "as a result of the aforementioned activities, there was bodily fluids and other evidence of sexual activity wherever it occurred throughout the gym," As a result, Moskowitz claims, he slipped on the alleged white substance last August and needed surgery to repair his shoulder.

According to the New York Observer, more than just knowing of the activity, Mr. Moskowitz alleges, staff members endorsed the behavior. Rather than going in to clean up after the activity, employees "left a hose and liquid soap" for self clean up, according to his suit.

This is not the first time a lawsuit has been brought against a Manhattan gym as a result of alleged sexual behavior in the locker room. According to a 2005 article in the New York Post, Manhattanite Carlos Sosa filed a $25,000 lawsuit against David Barton Gym when they refused to refund his $950 membership fee after he complained that about shenanigans in the upscale Chelsea gym's locker room.

"These guys were doing something to each other," he said. "You could see it in silhouette."

Sosa said he was so disturbed by the experience - and other times when men came on to him - he was afraid to use gym amenities such as the steam room. He claimed he saw gym employees trying to stop the shenanigans, but said their efforts were ineffectual.

"Now I'm really uncomfortable, and I'm paying for this," he said. "I felt I had to [avoid the steam room] because God knows if I'll step on something I don't want to step on."

Eight years later, Moskovitz's current lawsuit against Bally's is proof yet again, that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.