Guests at Florida Golfing Resort Surprised with Undisclosed Surcharge File $25 Million Class Action

The PGA National Resort & Spa 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 National 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 National Resort’s website or by calling the PGA National 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 National Resort in Palm Beach 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. PGA National Resort 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 National Resort’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 National Resort 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.  This flim-flammery has to end, and we hope the lawsuit does exactly that.”

About SWH

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.

For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, 201-493-1027, Jamie@newspros.com

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