Emerging from bankruptcy, Bally Total Fitness wanted new leadership to implement a new business strategy. Not surprisingly, it looked for someone who knew the workout business. The company found Michael Sheehan, COO of its chief competitor, 24 Hour Fitness.
But what might have seemed like the ideal fitness company fit is now stuck on the litigation treadmill. 24 Hour Fitness filed suit in July in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that Bally Total Fitness lured Sheehan away to obtain company trade secrets. 24 Hour Fitness also claims that its contract with Sheehan included a noncompete clause preventing him from joining a competitor for two years after he left the company.