Equinox Hit with $11.25M Jury Verdict in Race & Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
NEW YORK, NY – A Manhattan federal jury slapped luxury gym chain Equinox with an $11,250,000 verdict after fitness professional Röbynn Europe proved that she was subjected to a hostile work environment and ultimately fired based on her race and gender.
One day after it reached a verdict on liability, a jury of five women and three men awarded Ms. Europe $1,250,000 in compensatory damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages. Ms. Europe will also be awarded $16,000 in economic damages representing back pay, which was previously agreed to by the parties.
Equinox repeatedly failed to investigate Ms. Europe’s complaints of racist and sexually inappropriate behavior at its East 92nd Street gym and ultimately used so-called “lateness” as a thinly-veiled excuse to target her for termination in September 2019, her lawsuit alleged.
During an emotional damages phase of the trial, Ms. Europe testified that Equinox’s failure to address the racist and sexist work atmosphere led to a sudden and dramatic increase in her symptoms of bulimia, an eating disorder from which she had suffered since high school, requiring her to undergo intensive treatment.
The Crumiller trial team included founding attorney Susan Crumiller, senior associates Hilary Orzick and Chloe Liederman, and administrative assistant Kendall Rideout.
The case is Robynn Europe v. Equinox Holdings, Inc. et al, Case No. 1:20-cv-07787 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Statement from Susan Crumiller, Attorney for Röbynn Europe:
“We could not be more thrilled with today’s jury award. The jury sent a loud message to Equinox that there are serious consequences for corporations that permit racist and sexist behavior in the workplace. We are also pleased that the jury found Equinox’s racism had a severe and lasting impact on Röbynn’s mental health and that she deserved to be compensated for it. Let this be a warning to all businesses in New York that if you try to brush harassment and discrimination under the rug, you will not get away with it.”
Jacob Eidinger, Director of Marketing & Communications