Ralph Colasuonno, a partner at Aloia Law, successfully defended a commercial landlord from a national fitness center’s rent abatement claims arising from Michigan’s mandatory shutdown orders during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Fitness International, LLC v National Retail Properties, Limited Partnership, Macomb County Circuit Court case No. 20-4109-CB, Fitness International, LLC d/b/a LA Fitness, a nationwide operator of health clubs and fitness centers, filed suit against the landlord claiming that it was entitled to an abatement and refund of all rent paid during the State of Michigan mandated total closure of all gyms and fitness centers between March 2020 and September 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The tenant’s lawsuit was based on the doctrine of frustration of purpose and the doctrines of impracticability and impossibility. The tenant also alleged that the landlord breached its covenant of quiet enjoyment because the tenant was not allowed to operate as a health club during the shutdown period.
The Macomb County Circuit Court granted summary disposition in favor of the landlord and disposed of all claims raised by the tenant. In its unpublished decision dated October 13, 2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court and found that the tenant was not entitled to any abatement or refund of the rent it had paid during the period of mandatory total shutdown. The decision is now final as the Michigan Supreme Court denied the tenant’s application for leave to appeal on April 4, 2023, officially closing the matter. If you have any questions regarding this case or if you have a similar legal issue, please feel free to contact Mr. Colasuonno at 586.783.3300.