A judge has ordered Trump National Golf Club Jupiter to pay $5.7 million to former members who had sued in an effort to be reimbursed for refundable membership deposits, according to a Politico report.
Judge Keith Marra deemed that the Florida club violated contracts with members by confiscating refundable deposits and locking out members who had declared resignation intentions.
“The Court concludes that the Plan documents, as properly interpreted, were intended to provide club members of the resignation list with a continuing right to use the Club facilities until their membership was reissued to a new member, provided the club member was otherwise in good standing with the Club,” Marr wrote in a 21-page decision issued Wednesday.
Brad Edwards, a lawyer for the ex-members, said the exact dollar amount they asked for was awarded. Marr ordered the golf club to pay more than $4.8 million in damages and nearly $1 million in interest.
“I have never been more confident after trying a case that this would be the result,” Edwards said. “To me, it was just a matter of time before this verdict came but I’m glad we got it.”
Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said an appeal is forthcoming.
“The members who resigned were all members under Ritz-Carlton who resigned prior to Trump taking ownership,” Garten said. “Trump purchased the club from Ritz and effectively saved it because it was in financial ruin. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we disagree with the judge’s ruling and intend to appeal it.”
President Donald Trump is not personally a defendant in the case. Upon taking office in January, Trump relinquished control of his businesses to his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., while he serves as president.
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