New Jersey Country Club Agrees to $2 Million Settlement Over Member Refunds

By Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.Class Action

A $2 million settlement has been approved by a Somerset County judge to compensate members who joined the New Jersey National Golf Club and denied refunds when they later resigned. Gary Graifman of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C and attorney Robert Dowd, Jr. of the Law Offices of Robert S. Dowd, Jr., LLC were counsel for the plaintiffs in the class action and are currently investigating other claims involving unpaid initiation and golf club membership fee refunds. To explore your rights to a return of your membership deposits or initiation fees, please contact us to set up your private consultation.

Golf Club Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Breach of Contract

The golf club lawsuit brought claims against the upscale Basking Ridge club under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act, alleging the club’s suspension failure to refund to resigned members their respective membership deposits breached the contract signed by members who had joined between 2003 to 2013.

These members shelled out up to $25,000 to join the golf club on the contractual condition that this money would be refunded upon their resignation upon admission of new members to take their places. The class action claimed that despite the admission of more than enough new members to obligate the golf club to issue refunds to the resigning members, the golf club failed and refused to do so and did not level with the former members about how it was administering the refund policy.

Plaintiffs in the class action argued that management of the New Jersey National Golf Club purposefully undercounted the number of active, dues-paying members to reduce financial obligations to members who departed. The suit also claimed that former members were to be reimbursed at a faster rate if the club’s current membership topped 350, but because of the undercount, this never happened. To compound the situation, the golf club did not charge incoming members any membership deposit, leaving no funds to use for refunds to be issued to the resigned members, which the plaintiffs alleged also constituted a breach of contract.

Settlement for NJ Golf Club Membership Refunds

Judge Yolanda Ciccone approved the $2 million settlement that would grant golf club refund payments to the members of the golf club. The settlement paid the equivalent of 61.5 percent of the refund money owed to 221 members of the class action.

Those who joined the golf club between 2003 and 2013 have the option of receiving a lump-sum payment of 61.5 percent of their refund money owed, or a credit equal to 110 percent of the refund, which would be applied to member dues over a five-year period.

Counsel for the defendant said that owners of the New Jersey National Golf Club have since abandoned their former business model, which hinged on hefty deposits by new members, due to a waning interest in the lifestyle offered by country clubs.

Were You Denied a Membership Refund?

This recent settlement underscores the liability imposed on private golf clubs that renege on contractual obligations or otherwise engage in deceptive or unfair practices in the administration of their membership deposit refund policies, and the legal options available to those who are owed refunds from such clubs. If you were denied a membership refund at a golf club, contact KGG Law today to see if you are eligible to file a golf course lawsuit to recover the money you are rightfully owed.

If litigation is warranted, claims may be brought for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, as well as violation of consumer fraud acts.

Our legal team serves residents throughout New Jersey and New York and is equipped to bring in local counsel to pursue such claims in other states as well.

Additional Resources:

  1. Yahoo Finance, Country Club Agrees to $2 Million Settlement With Former Members
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