Lawsuit accuses Farmingdale CrossFit gym of keeping equipment from amputee athlete
A world-renowned amputee athlete is suing a Farmingdale gym, claiming the owner refused to hand over thousands of dollars worth of specialized equipment she needs to train.
Amy Palmiero-Winters is a below-the-knee amputee and ultra-marathoner who holds 15 world records in various events. The Hicksville mom of two has battled extreme heat, cold and other elements to achieve her goals.
But her latest hurdle is in a courtroom.
"What I'm fighting for is to essentially not to be bullied," she said. "And what I'm trying right now to do is basically get my fitness equipment back."
Palmiero-Winters is suing her gym, CrossFit CAMO in Farmingdale, after she says they refused to return equipment she bought to train at the facility.
Last year, she purchased $2,100 in equipment that was delivered directly to the gym. Palmiero-Winters says she needed certain weights and other equipment to train for competitions, and the gym agreed to let her use her equipment at the facility.
Everything was fine until the pandemic hit.
"During COVID, when everything shut down, I did send out a simple request -- a very friendly request -- asking for the ability to pick up my equipment, and I was denied," she says. "The response of the owner was, 'Sue me.'"
Her attorney, Norman Steiner, filed a lawsuit in Nassau Supreme Court against Chad Gross. According to the complaint, Palmiero-Winters has been, "unable to train as is required, which has severely compromised her career and caused extreme emotional distress."
"While COVID might have had a devastating effect on gyms, it should never chilled humanity or hearts. And those actions, to me, what they've done is heartless," Steiner said.
When News 12 went to the gym to get the owner's side of the story, they called police -- even though we were not on the property.
Palmiero-Winters says the suit is about more than just the value of her gym equipment, it's a matter of principle.
"For me, as a role model, to let someone walk all over me, allows it to happen for somebody else," she said. "You've got to stand up for yourself."
The suit seeks more than $25,000 in monetary damages.