Legal Battle Between New York Country Clubs

By: Rob Harris

Until its recent closing, Elmwood Country Club was a fixture in New York’s Westchester County for more than 90 years. In a lawsuit filed last week, Elmwood blames its demise on a neighboring, and equally venerable institution, Old Oaks Country Club.

According to its complaint, Elmwood was victimized by Old Oaks who, together with a headhunter, unlawfully induced Elmwood’s general manager, to breach her contract with Elmwood in favor of employment with Old Oaks.

Elmwood alleges that Old Oaks solicited the general manager “because of the inherent value of her local country club circuit rolodex,” and that the manager delivered for her new employer by inducing those who had booked events with Elmwood to move them to Old Oaks. As alleged, “[l]ongstanding Elmwood outings, including a Women’s LPGA tour event, a Ronald McDonald Foundation outing, and Bank Leumi, all canceled their events to book with Old Oaks.”

Having previously filed suit against the manager, Elmood’s new action seeks to hold Old Oaks and the headhunter liable. Elmwood claims their “actions caused [Elmwood] to hemorrhage members and clients, and ultimately contributed to the Club’s closing.”

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