Trump Golf Club Ordered to Pay Class of Members $5.7 Million

Posted on: February 17th, 2017 by Steve Larson

A Florida federal judge on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, ordered a Donald Trump-owned golf club to refund $5.7 million to a class of members of the Jupiter Golf Club, which Donald Trump purchased in 2012.  When Trump purchased the club, he cancelled the memberships without refunding their deposits.  The members alleged that was required by their membership agreements.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that changes to Jupiter Golf Club memberships after Trump bought the club in December 2012 should have triggered the refund provisions in their agreements and ordered the club to refund $4.8 million in fees plus about $925,000 in interest.  The judge ruled that the Jupiter Golf Club committed a material breach of the membership agreement going to the essence of the contract.

In May, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra certified a class, which included about 65 club members.  The class alleged that Trump’s company not only denied them access, but also reached the conclusion a few months later that class members were obliged to continue paying thousands of dollars each year in dues and fees — including a minimum of $1,800 in annual food and beverage charges — even though they were forbidden from accessing the facilities.

The case is Hirsch et al. v. Jupiter Golf Club LLC, case number 9:13-cv-80456, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.