FORT LAUDERDALE (Florida Record) — A Florida-based fitness company is suing two Washington state residents, both former employees, it says logged into its network and stole the names and contact information of more than 20,000 potential customers before starting a rival fitness company in Seattle in April.
Ultimate Fitness Group, which does business as Orangetheory Fitness, says Rachel Felix and Kyle Anderson "conspired to misappropriate confidential trade secrets" to obtain mailing lists from the plaintiff's database before opening Studio 3 on Mercer Street in Seattle in April, according to the lawsuit filed May 1.
Orangetheory Fitness, with its principal place of business in Boca Raton, Florida, filed its 13-page complaint for injunctive relief and damages in U.S. District Court for Florida's Southern District, Fort Lauderdale Division.
Orangetheory Fitness alleges Felix, a former fitness trainer and regional leader at an Orangetheory franchisee in Seattle, and Anderson, a former Orangetheory shareholder in Shoreline, Washington, violated the U.S. Defend Trade Secrets Act and Stored Communications Act, in addition to Florida's Uniform Trade Secret Act.
The lawsuit says Ultimate Fitness launched Orangetheory Fitness in 2010 and describes the new launch as "one of the fastest growing and most popular fitness franchises in history" with "hundreds of franchisees throughout the country and the world".
"[Orangetheory Fitness] has spent millions of dollars and years of intense effort in acquiring members and building its Orangetheory brand," the lawsuit said. "Among numerous other trade secrets, [Orangetheory Fitness] maintains confidential mailing lists of current and prospective members, which it uses to maintain brand engagement and solicit new business."
Felix worked at Orangetheory in Seattle from November 2013 to July 12, 2017, and had login credentials that allowed her to access Orangetheory's mailing lists, according to the lawsuit. After Felix quit, she allegedly teamed with Anderson and started Studio 3. The new company "seeks to compete with Orangetheory and is located within a short walking distance of the Orangetheory Fitness studio in which Felix worked." the lawsuit said.
To build up a clientele, Orangetheory alleges Felix "used her old Orangetheory login credentials" to download Seattle-area mailing lists "with the contact names, email addresses and phone numbers for over 20,000 members and prospective members," the lawsuit said
The pair then used the mailing lists to send out solicitations to "to join Anderson and Felix’s new competing fitness studio," the suit alleged.
The pair previously signed confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements with Orangetheory, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff is represented by attorney Steven I. Peretz of Peretz, Chesal & Herrmann PL in Miami.