Trump Loses $5.8M Golf Club Lawsuit
Judge rules Trump National Golf Club violated members' contracts
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2017 4:35 PM CST
Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club, which must pay more than $5 million to former members following a lawsuit.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(Newser) – Eric Trump said his father had taken the National Jupiter Golf Club in Florida and "made it great again," Bloomberg reports. On Wednesday, that golf club was ordered to pay more than $5 million to 65 former members whose contracts it violated after now-President Trump purchased it in 2012, according to NBC News. The plaintiffs were on a waiting list to resign their memberships when Trump bought the club. It can take years to actually resign from the club, due to rules stating members have to wait for new members to replace them. During that time, members waiting to resign can keep paying dues and using the club. When Trump took over, he said he didn't want the members waiting to resign to use the club—telling them "you're out" in a letter—and wouldn't charge them dues.

But a few months later, the Trump National Jupiter Golf Club started charging the soon-to-be-former members dues again—without giving them access to the club. Furthermore, the club also wasn't returning the $4.85 million in refundable deposits it owed to the 65 plaintiffs. On Wednesday, Judge Kenneth Mara ruled the club had violated its contract with members, Politico reports. In addition to the deposits it owes, the club is also on the hook for nearly $1 million in interest. The Trump Organization, which plans to appeal the ruling, argues the golf club was in a bad place financially before Trump took over, and the resigning members likely wouldn't have gotten their deposits back anyway.

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