The Planet Fitness gym chain, which fired a Maine man from its corporate headquarters in New Hampshire in August, has dismissed its lawsuit against the man as part of a settlement and paid him an undisclosed amount of money.

The parent company of the chain, Pla-Fit Franchise LLC, had accused Jason Cole of Lebanon in its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland of stealing “highly sensitive personal and financial information” about Planet Fitness employees in his role as payroll manager.

In what appears to be a reversal, Planet Fitness has now withdrawn that accusation and settled the case with a promise never to revive it.

As part of the settlement, however, the two sides have agreed to keep further details private, such as the money the company paid Cole, according to his attorney, Paul Aranson.

“Full reversal,” Cole said Monday of the company’s settlement of the lawsuit against him. He added that Planet Fitness’ accusations against him were “totally not true.”

Cole said the company filed the lawsuit detailing his firing Aug. 10 before he had actually been fired. He said he read about it on the Portland Press Herald website before he got notice by email the next day that he had been terminated.

“It was heartbreaking because I loved my job. I liked my coworkers,” Cole said.

The timing of the lawsuit came just days after Planet Fitness went public, with an initial public stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PLNT. At the time, the company employed 172 people at its New Hampshire headquarters, where Cole worked, and 715 others across its 56 fitness clubs nationwide.

Planet Fitness, based in Newington, New Hampshire, had accused Cole of stealing and threatening to use insider company information that he received inadvertently to interfere with the company’s IPO, and charged him with three counts – breach of contract, converting the company’s personal and financial payroll information for his personal use, and computer fraud.

“Given that Cole has a history of threatening and unstable behavior, there is an exceptionally high risk that Cole will do something drastic with this information after he learns of his termination from Planet Fitness on August 10, 2015,” the company said in the lawsuit.

Cole said he hasn’t been able to get full-time work since Planet Fitness filed the lawsuit because of the public stigma of the false accusations against him.

A Planet Fitness spokeswoman, McCall Gosselin, said the company filed the lawsuit “out of an abundance of caution” to protect itself and its employees.

“We have worked constructively with Mr. Cole and have been given assurances by him that he has no personal or confidential Company information, nor has he misappropriated or disseminated any such information. As such, and as part of a settlement, we are dismissing the lawsuit against Mr. Cole,” Gosselin said in a written statement.

Aranson said the company quickly agreed to settle the lawsuit after the two sides negotiated.

“I realized they couldn’t prove their case because my client didn’t do anything wrong,” Aranson said.

As part of the settlement, Cole will not return to work for Planet Fitness.

Specifically, the lawsuit stated that Cole was mistakenly sent a June 3 email intended for a company attorney who has the same name as Jason Cole. Rather than delete the email as he had been instructed by the company’s human resources director, Cole downloaded it to his home computer and kept a copy, the lawsuit said.

“Cole stated that the June 3 email was ‘damning’ from a business and political perspective and threatened to release it publicly right before Planet Fitness went public, in an attempt to disrupt the IPO,” the lawsuit said.

Court records give no further details about the settlement other than that lawyers for both sides agreed Nov. 10 to dismiss the case.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: scottddolan

Comments are not available on this story.