Diamond Resorts are have class action against them

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Diamond Resorts are trying to get dismissed a class action against them for claims that they violated the Vacation ownership and Timeshare Act of 2004. Elderly clients claim that they were swindled into paying more for vacation rentals that they had little access to. The lead Plaintiff Sharon Ferraro, said that she originally paid $19,000 for a timeshare from Pacific Monarch Resorts. After Monarch was acquired by Diamond Resorts she was contacted by a representative who invited her to a meeting so that she could purchase more points to use towards her vacation rental. At the meeting in Palm Springs in 2013, she was informed that unless she upgraded her timeshare, she would eventually be left with almost no choice of resorts. She was also told during the meeting that her quarterly maintenance fees would reduce and although she was persuaded to upgrade her timeshare, she now claims it is not only worthless but her maintenance fees have increased to such a level that she can not afford to pay them. A similar theme is heard from the other plaintiffs in the class action who also experienced sharp increases in fees on top of purchasing points or upgrades. Diamond Resorts have argued that that the cases do not qualify as a class action as they are made up of 19 transactions over 15 years and that there was no overlap in witnesses identified by Ferraro and the other plaintiffs. Diamond say that keeping track of the different people involved and different state laws could potentially confuse a jury and are arguing that an outright dismissal is the appropriate remedy. Diamond have denied the plaintiffs’ claim of a single scheme that took place across three vacation rental sellers – Sunterra Corporation, Monarch and Diamond – noting that the sellers were independent companies. They then later acquired the other two vacation rental companies from whom many of the plaintiffs acquired their vacation packages. Ferraro has argued back that even though the purchases were made with different sales representatives at different companies, the contracts were the same and their witnesses could attest to the underhanded manner in which they were sold. Other defendants include Diamond Resorts Financial Services, Diamond Resorts Hawaii Collection Development, Diamond Resorts International Club, Diamond Resorts International Marketing, Diamond Resorts Management, Diamond Resorts U.S. Collection Members Association, Diamond Resorts US Collection Development, ILX Acquisition, and Premiere Vacation Collection Owners Association. The trial date has been set for April 29th 2016

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