News for the Hospitality Executive
|NEW YORK, May 16,
2011-- The PGA may be a stickler for fairness on the golf
course, but when it comes to honestly disclosing guest fees at its
nationally renowned resort hotel in Palm
Beach, the organization's practices are tantamount to kicking
the ball to get a better lie.
That's the assertion at the heart of a $25 million class action filed in US District Court for the Southern District of New York today by New York residents Alison Handwerker and Jeffrey Greenburg, two of the tens of thousands of customers who were hit with a daily resort fee charge by the PGA Resort. The class comprises all individuals who were charged the daily resort fee that was not disclosed to them prior to or at the time they made their reservations using the PGA's website or by calling the PGA Resort directly.
Ms. Handwerker, Mr. Greenberg and the class are represented by Steven L. Wittels and Jeremy Heisler, attorneys in the New York City office of Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP.
Florida-based PGA National Resort & Spa and Illinois-based Walton Street Capital LLC are named as defendants in the suit.
"Guests at the PGA's Palm Beach Resort expect courteous treatment and hospitality," said Mr. Wittels. "But instead, the organization tees up deceit and trickery by forcing its departing guests to pay an undisclosed and surprise 'resort fee' of $25 for each day of their stay, plus taxes on that fee. The PGA keeps this fee hidden until guests check out, despite purporting to provide 'full-pricing' information to potential customers over the telephone and on the resort's reservation website."
The Complaint alleges that the PGA's undisclosed charges violate the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and also constitute common law breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
The complaint asks the Court to certify the Plaintiff Class, issue a permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from continuing to charge the undisclosed fees, and award the Plaintiffs actual damages, punitive damages, and restitution for the undisclosed fees they have already been forced to pay.
"There's no place in the legitimate tourism business for the kind of chicanery PGA Resorts perpetrates on its customers every day in the Palm Beach Hotel," said Mr. Heisler. "Resort owners can charge any legal fees they wish. But they can't hide the fee and then charge customers at check-out time. That flim-flammery has to end, and we hope this lawsuit does exactly that."
Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP (SWH) is a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, consumer and complex corporate class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in some of the major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations, commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters.
More Information Contact: