|Club Land’or sues nearly 100 members|
Guardian Business Editor
Published: Aug 17, 2012
A Paradise Island resort has filed legal action against nearly 100 timeshare owners in U.S. court in an effort to secure fees from disgruntled clients.
Club Land'or, on the doorstep of the country's busiest tourism thoroughfare, is embroiled in no less than 96 pending cases against investors, with hearing dates mostly set for this month, September and a few in 2013.
According to cases filed in Henrico County General District, a certifiable laundry list of pending lawsuits are awaiting judgement due to “warrant in debt”, or outstanding payments. The nearly 100 pending cases in the near future are in addition to dozens of other lawsuits stretching back several years, although a strong concentration of new court dates is clearly identifiable.
Executives at Club Land'or did not respond to requests for comment.
However, the spike in legal proceedings comes as perhaps the loudest crescendo yet in an ongoing dispute between the resort and its timeshare clients.
A spokesperson for the group, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Guardian Business the lawsuits stem from a growing number of American timeshare owners that refuse to pay fees.
"This is just getting bigger by the day," the spokesperson said. "They are filing against everybody. People are refusing to pay them for not taking care of the resort."
The allegations are not new, however.
Timeshare owners have often made their distaste known concerning high fees with what they call little or no results for the property.
In April, Club Land'or faced legal action from at least one U.S. investor, who demanded to be released from the lease agreement and awarded $25,000. According to documents obtained by Guardian Business, the defendant Karen Trinkle signed a 22-year lease with Club Land'or back in 1994. She alleged that the resort unjustifiably "denied plaintiff access to the use of the leased unit per terms of the lease and sequent promises".
Although all rent had been paid, the plaintiff claimed it has been billed "for a series of charges not in the lease agreement".
According to the Henrico County General District court, Trinkle actually won her dispute against Club Land'or in June. It is unclear, however, whether she was awarded the full damages.
The long list of cases now filed by the resort against clients appears to turn the tables on this apparent victory.
Club Land'or's financial problems have been well documented for a number of years, including persistent rumors on its impending sale. Last September, the resort faced the threat of legal action related to thousands of dollars in employee salary deductions allegedly taken, but never deposited in their credit union.
President of the National Co-operative Credit Union Alfred Poitier claimed the company had routinely defaulted on payments for years.
In December 2010, employees at the property protested over unpaid Christmas bonuses and salaries.
Following the protest, Club Land'or's executives paid out just over $15,000 to be shared equally between the roughly 60 workers at the property.