By: Rob Harris
The Trump organization has agreed to pay $5,450,000 (i.e., more than 94%) of the $5,550,000 ordered by a federal judge to members of Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida.
As we previously described the dispute, which we have been tracking for five years,
“Three club members, suing for themselves and on behalf of a class of similarly situated members, claim that Mr. Trump’s company ‘has embarked on a systematic campaign to deny [club members] refunds and has refused to honor the agreed-upon terms and conditions.’They claim that Mr. Trump ‘declared that he would unilaterally deny [them] rights in the Club unless they … effectively converted their refundable deposit into a non-refundable deposit,’ representing that ‘if a person is on the resignation list, the membership does not want them to be an active member of the club — likewise as the owner of the club, I do not want them to utilized [sic] the club nor do I want their dues.’
“Apparently, not content with deeming the plaintiffs unworthy of belonging to his club, the complaint alleges that Trump’s company also ‘asserted that it had the unilateral right to amend the terms of Plaintiffs’… Memberships, so as to modify or deny[their] right to receive a full refund of their membership deposits.’”
Last year a federal judge ruled in favor of the members, but–no surprise–the Trump organization filed an appeal. Likely assessing the chances of prevailing to be extremely weak, Trump has reached a settlement requiring it to pay a substantial amount of the funds ordered by the lower court.
Those interested in a great back story article should read Joe Nocera’s take on the dispute.