Former members of the Port Charlotte, Fla., property sued the club’s owner, CH3, arguing that it violated their contract by refusing to pay back their $20,000 plus deposit after retiring. CH3 reportedly claimed that a clause in the contract allowed them to change the terms without prior approval from members.
Former members of the Riverwood Golf Club are celebrating a judge’s decision to give the deposit back to a former member who sued the Port Charlotte, Fla., property, the Bonita Springs, Fla., NBC2 reported.
Dozens of members said the club is violating their contract by refusing to pay back their $20,000 plus deposit after retiring. NBC2 previously highlighted seniors who felt they were being ripped of by the golf club.
Attempts by NBC2 to reach CH3 were unsuccessful.
“I feel very vindicated,” Louis Ruggiero, Jr. said. Ruggiero, Jr. helped his parents bring a lawsuit against CH3, the company that owns the golf course, NBC2 reported.
His parents, Louis and Judith Ruggiero, resigned their membership after they could no longer play golf. They said the owners refused to give them their deposit back, claiming that a clause in the contract allowed them to change the terms without prior approval from members, NBC2 reported.
“It’s unjust. It’s unfair and it’s criminal,” Ruggiero, Jr. said.
His parents moved back to New Jersey to live with their son. “We realized without that money and the things they were threatening me with, I couldn’t very well keep going on in Riverwood,” Ruggiero, Sr. said.
The judge’s decision gives the Ruggiero’s claim over their deposit, but it is still unclear when and how they will receive the money. Because of the legal victory, other former members like Walt Powers are also considering filing a lawsuit against CH3, NBC2 reported.
“When they came and changed it, we thought you can’t do that,” Powers said.
It is unclear how many members might join the lawsuit, but the group has a list of 25 names of former members who say they did not get their deposit back from CH3, NBC2 reported.