Burr & Forman

08.18.2017   |   Articles / Publications

Law360: Dear v. Q Club Is a Victory for Condominium Hotels

In an article published on August 17 by Law360, Burr & Forman’s Laurence Litow and Kapila Mukamal’s Barry Mukamal discuss their recent involvement in a case involving a South Florida beachfront condominium hotel that successfully prevailed against a federal class action lawsuit brought by current and former owners.

As the authors described the case, “Class representative and plaintiff Gary Dear is one of many residential unit owners who purchased a residential luxury suite in the beachfront resort [Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach]. His lawsuit alleged two counts against Q Club: Breach of contract and declaratory judgment.”

Following a class certification in November 2016, which created an alleged liability of Q Club upwards of $12 million, the case proceeded to a jury trial that ruled in favor of the Fort Lauderdale resort.

Importantly, Litow and Mukamal point out the implications of the decision: “This case presented a ‘test case’ for plaintiffs’ attorneys for the next proposed popular target in consumer protection litigation: Hotel condominium shared expenses. South Florida, in particular, is uniquely situated to entertain such lawsuits against the owners of mixed-use and timeshare properties incorporating a similar cost-sharing model. As such, property owners should be keenly aware of the role the language in their declaration plays in defining what is and is not considered a shared cost chargeable to unit owners.”

For the full article, subscribers to Law360 may click here.

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