The Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida has settled a class-action lawsuit by agreeing to pay $5.45 million. The case was brought by 65 former members who claim they were wrongfully denied their deposit refunds. The members had signed-up under the golf club’s previous owner, Ritz-Carlton.
A lawyer for the former members confirmed that the settlement amount exceeded the total loss of the class. After deducting expenses and legal fees, the members of the class-action will each receive approximately 71 percent of their original refunds.
The settlement is awaiting final approval from the courts.
History of the suit
Prior to Trump’s 2012 purchase of the Ritz-Carlton club in Jupiter, some members there had paid refundable deposits between $35,000 and $210,000 to join.
Under their agreements with Ritz-Carlton, members wishing to resign would be placed on a list and could continue to play golf while the club sought their replacements. Once a member’s replacement was found, they would receive a refund of their deposit and stop paying dues.
According to the lawsuit, the trouble began when Trump took over the Jupiter, Florida golf club and banned those on the resignation list from playing golf or accessing the club.
The members took their case to court where Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that the golf club had essentially revoked the memberships and that entitled members to refunds of their deposits within 30 days.
The case involves business dealings before Trump became president; he said he would turn over operations of the business to his two older sons and another professional. President Trump was not named in the lawsuit.