In May 2018, class action attorneys Seth Lehrman and Brad Edwards preserved their trial victory over the Trump organization through a settlement that required the Trump organization to immediately pay $5.4 million. The payout, representing 95% of the total judgment, ended more than four years of litigation, including two appeals, depositions of both Eric Trump and Donald Trump, and a trial.
The class action was filed by three members of Trump National Golf Club – Jupiter who insisted that the club had breached its contractual obligations by failing to refund deposits when they became due. The recovered monies were distributed to the class members.
In August 2016, Seth Lehrman, Brad Edwards and co-counsel tried a class action lawsuit against Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, which is owned by President Donald Trump’s Trump Organization. The attorneys won a $5.7 million judgment on behalf of the plaintiffs in a federal class action case against the golf club. They tried the case on behalf of 65 class members, including three class representatives. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra heard the case and entered the judgment on behalf of the class of club members in the full amount requested. Trump appealed the judgment.
The trial was held during the week of August, 15, 2016. It focused on whether Trump breached membership agreements by failing to refund deposit monies to the club member class. Plaintiffs claimed that Trump recalled their memberships when he refused them access to the club facilities. Once their memberships were recalled, Trump was required to refund deposits within thirty days. However, Trump failed to pay refunds, and refused the club members access to the facilities despite continuing to charge them dues.
At trial, plaintiffs presented testimony of Donald Trump through video depositions. Eric Trump, Trump’s lead acquisition attorney, the Trump club’s general manager and the former membership director all testified in person.
During an April 2015 deposition, Eric Trump testified that class members did have access to the club after Trump’s acquisition and that Plaintiff’s claim that they were denied club use was unfounded. However, at trial Eric Trump reversed course during Edwards’s cross-examination and admitted that members were indeed denied use of the club facilities as Plaintiffs had claimed. He explained his change in testimony by claiming he had “misspoke” throughout his earlier deposition.
Lehrman, Edwards and the case were featured in many media stories about the judgment. National media outlets covering the ruling included the Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNN, ESPN, Law360, NBC News, the New York Times and many others.
The attorneys also garnered coverage in a variety of South Florida media outlets, including the Daily Business Review, Palm Beach Post, South Florida Business Journal, Sun Sentinel, The Real Deal and WPTV.
We appreciate the commitment and resolve of our clients who stood up for their rights and the rights of class members and pursued the case through trial.