Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Richard A. Siebel, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice McNULTY
Nora Bucher and Krista Pulcini (some documents in the record, including the complaint, misspell the name as Palcini) sued Bally Total Fitness Corporation, charging that their contracts with Bally violated the Physical Fitness Services Act (Fitness Act) (815 ILCS 645/1 et seq. (West 1998)) and the Automatic Contract Renewal Act (Renewal Act) (815 ILCS 601/1 et seq. (West 2002)). The trial court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. On appeal, we find that plaintiffs have stated viable causes of action for violation of both acts.
Pulcini signed her contract with Bally on October 18, 1999. The contract sets a membership fee of $957 and monthly dues of $8. Pulcini paid $50 toward her membership fee and she agreed to pay off the balance by paying $29.99 each month for the following 3 years. She accepted Bally's automatic payment plan for her "Monthly Payment" of $37.99, which covered the monthly dues and the payment for the membership fee.
The contract further provided:
"You will be in Default *** if you fail to pay any installment within 30 days after the date when such installment is due. If you are in Default, your membership privileges may be denied and any partial downpayment forfeited. *** We may get a court judgment against you for the amount you still owe ***.
*** Other than in the event of permitted cancellations described below, Buyer shall not be excused from the obligation to make any payment in accordance with this Contract, and Buyer may not reduce the amount of any payment for any reason including Member's failure to use any club. ***
*** You have the right to cancel this Contract by sending written notice of intent to cancel within three business days after the first business day after this Contract is signed ***.
*** If Buyer or Member dies or Member becomes disabled *** Buyer may cancel Member's membership by sending written notice of cancellation ***.
*** Buyer may cancel Member's membership if Member permanently relocates his or her residence more than 25 miles from either the club of enrollment or any other club which Member is entitled to use under the membership plan chosen ***.
*** You may cancel this Contract if your club of enrollment permanently closes and Member lives more than 25 miles from any other club which you are entitled to use ...