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LeMond Fitness Files Lawsuit

Published June 15, 2009

WOODINVILLE, WA (BRAIN)—LeMond Fitness and its former distributor Life Fitness are waging a court battle over product and the distribution agreement itself.

Life Fitness parent Brunswick Corp. struck first, recently filing a civil suit in Illinois seeking damages of more than $3.9 million from LeMond Fitness. The damages would be compensation for complaints it says it has received over alleged RevMaster Pro indoor cycles that aren’t functioning properly. These quality issues, according to Life Fitness, forced the company to terminate its distribution agreement early with LeMond Fitness.

Instead of sitting idly by waiting for this lawsuit to play out, LeMond Fitness went on the offensive, strongly denying these allegations with a lawsuit in Federal Court, seeking more than $1 million from Life Fitness as a result of the early termination.

According to the lawsuit, Life Fitness has been distributing LeMond exercise bicycles since 2002. Life Fitness distributes these bicycle under its own “Life Fitness” brand (alongside a “RevMaster” trademark) to health clubs and other commercial enterprises, both in the United States and in certain foreign countries.

Life Fitness notified LeMond Fitness just over a month ago that “it was unilaterally terminating the parties’ Distribution Agreement, purportedly on the basis of ‘pervasive’ qualities issues with the RevMaster bicycle.

“In fact, no such ‘pervasive’ quality issues exist. On the contrary, the RevMaster bicycle is among the most reliable, trouble-free group exercise bicycle available today, and has at all relevant times experienced reasonable service and repair rates,” the lawsuit stated.

In a June 15 letter to its retailers, LeMond Fitness president John Post reassured them that Life Fitness’ allegations “are without merit” and were an “act of bad faith designed with no other purpose than to injure our reputation as a brand.

“I also want you to know that notwithstanding these events, we will continue to stand behind each and every one of our products,” Post wrote. LeMond retailers now “can and should begin ordering service parts directly from LeMond Fitness, according to Post.

—Jason Norman

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