A class action lawsuit has been filed against timeshare developer Diamond Resorts International, timeshare owners associations Bali Condominium Association and Parkway International Owners Association, and auditor RSM U.S. L.P., alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and professional negligence over billing practices for maintenance.
The suit, Ragusa, et al. v. Bali Condominium Association, Inc., et al., case no. 6:17-cv-00842-RBD-DCI, was filed May 10 in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. The lawsuit seeks an award of damages, costs, attorneys’ fees and other relief.
The plaintiffs allege that the language addressing maintenance and management fees in the condominium associations’ governing documents were outdated and ambiguous. The outdated language allowed the defendants to include subsequent amendments to:
- Charge inappropriate maintenance fees
- Inflate management fees
- Hide inappropriate fees
- Charge costs unrelated to the maintenance and management of the timeshare development including an “indirect corporate fee”
The plaintiffs also allege that the auditor negligently supplied false information about the allegedly inappropriate maintenance fees.
Michael D. Finn, managing member of Finn Law Group representing the plaintiffs, stated:
“Annual maintenance fees in timeshare developments have been steadily rising for years and can seriously and negatively impact the resale value of owners’ interests. Where you have a large resort conglomerate like Diamond that can exercise nearly total control of its internally owned management company, there is strong upward pressure on maintenance fees as that management company has little incentive to control costs, as their management fees increase with every dollar spent.”
“We allege that defendant Diamond is attempting to assess fees against its owners that are unrelated to actual resort maintenance fees. These fees offset corporate overhead, thus increasing and overstating its profits on the backs of their already burdened owners.”
The Finn Law Group, which has offices in Florida, represents consumers in timeshare and related real estate matters. For more information, contact Michael D. Finn by calling 855-346-6529 or emailing [email protected].