Cape Coral gym owner suing Lee County, DeSantis

A Cape Coral gym owner, who is also running for city council, is suing Lee County and Gov. Ron DeSantis for shutting down her business during the pandemic.

Patty Cummings said they shut her gym, P2 Personal Training, without any restitution.

She loves her gym and loves that it’s a small business.

“Big businesses start small. Small businesses are the backbone of America,” she said.

For nearly two months, P2 Personal Training has been empty, every dumbbell untouched.

“We have personal bills we have to pay, so trying to take care of the family with no income coming in, it’s very scary.”

So, Cummings is suing Lee County and the governor. In a 20-page lawsuit, the Cape Coral gym owner claims “her constitutional rights were violated” when the governor shut down gyms on March 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“You can’t take away the people and expect them to survive if you take away the funds that they need to survive. It’s meant to fail,” she said.

Cummings said the governor overstepped the boundaries of his power, but in a state of emergency, DeSantis has the power to make executive orders.

She admits, though, that the federal government came through with a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program.

“The PPP loan that we got maybe covers one month. One month. Now, what do you do when you’re still shut down? What do you do the money is gone? Now what?” she asked.

Even though the machines are up and running, the customers back in their groove, Cummings is going ahead with the lawsuit.

The governor’s office has not responded to the lawsuit. Lee County’s attorney Richard Wesch said they haven’t been served with the lawsuit yet, but he said, “The governor and the county have acted lawfully and in the best interest of their constituents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The county attorney’s office will vigorously defend the county’s interests in this litigation.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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