There was a big kerfuffle in late 2021 when three Westgate Resorts hotels in two separate parts of Florida got hit with a class-action lawsuit. The case was filed by individual plaintiffs from throughout the U.S., not just Florida, who claimed they had been defrauded. It is interesting that such a large-scale operation would be opened by a “small” broker such as Russ Frands and his wife. Apparently, it wasn’t until the New York Times article did anyone come to know that there were three such cases involving three different Westgate Resorts. There have been other similar lawsuits and many more are on the way, all originating from the same brokers.
What does this story tell us about the general nature of fraud in the real estate industry? On one hand, there are companies like Russ Frands’ that is willing to “round up” complainants and goad them into filing lawsuits and then use the lawsuits as leverage to negotiate favorable deals with the defense lawyers. On the other hand, there are certain players who are scammers and go about the business of real estate fraud with a certain level of professionalism and expertise. These types of people know what they are doing and most are quite happy to share their knowledge and experience through online forums and chat rooms that they often utilize. They just don’t want to be referred to as “frauds”.
Interestingly, in the case of the Westgate Resorts case, the “plaintiffs” actually brought their own lawyer and they also knew that they would lose. This is not a common occurrence in fraud cases. Often, it appears that the victims bring their own legal “defense team” and sometimes, even their “counsel”. This may well be the case in instances where the “defendant” knows he is guilty. But in this instance, the lawyers apparently worked out a deal without the involvement and advice of counsel – perhaps to save money.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, however, apparently thought that a class-action lawsuit against the Westgate Resorts was the best way to go. He also thought that the settlement offer presented to the class would be the best way to handle the case. Apparently he was wrong, unfortunately. Why? Because this type of settlement is usually not very fair to the plaintiff (if the case went to trial, that is).
The class-action lawsuit would force all of the plaintiffs in the case, to pay damages, possibly for years. This can add up to a lot of money over time. There are also other issues to consider beyond monetary concerns. The fact is that class-action lawsuits have very negative consequences when handled improperly and it is not in the best interests of the plaintiffs in this case to do so.
Are you someone who wants to win your lawsuit? Then maybe you should consider working with an experienced Las Vegas litigation attorney. I am sure that you will find one that will treat you with the utmost respect. This will enable you to get the settlement that you deserve and will ensure that no one else gets cheated out of their money.