Friday, June 21, 2013

Man claims he slipped, fell and broke his shoulder because gym is a gay hot spot

A New York man is suing his gym for damages after he fractured a shoulder by slipping and falling in the steam room on what he described as a "foreign white substance." 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 behaviour" is "commonplace at the steam room, sauna and locker rooms. As a result of the aforementioned activities, there was bodily fluids and other evidence of sexual activity wherever it occurred throughout the gym," according to Moskowitz's suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Instead of having staffers clean the areas, Bally simply "left a hose and liquid soap" for people to clean up themselves, the papers state. As a result, Moskowitz claims, he took a tumble last August and needed surgery to repair his shoulder. Moskowitz, 66, who lives on the upper East Side, did not state in the papers how much he was seeking in damages. In the lawsuit, Moskowitz defined "cruising" as "the act of searching for homosexual partners in public places" and claimed "it is prevalent at Bally's across the country."

Moskowitz also insisted he had no idea these kinds of sexual shenanigans were going on when he joined the gym. "In fact, I didn't know about it," his lawyer, David Grover said. "Unless you're involved in that lifestyle you would not know that." Moskowitz is not gay, Grover added. "They used to have somebody at the gym who monitored this kind of activity and stopped it from happening," the lawyer said. "A few years ago, they stopped doing this."

"I'd say it's not that dark down there," said gym manager Kyrell Buckhead, who said it is cleaned regularly. "It's a wet and slippery kind of place." Buckhead, who has worked for Bally for eight years but has been at this gym just since February, insisted he knew nothing about guys "getting together" in the steam room. He also described most of the clientele as "working class." Buckhead's claims run counter to the Cruising Gays City Hookup Guide website, which has this review of his gym: "There are 2 LIGHTS in the Steam Sauna. The rear light is out 1/2 the time. When it is OFF the party is ON."

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