On September 26, 2018, Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel filed a consumer fraud lawsuit in federal court in the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of purchasers of timeshare interests at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, against Westgate Resorts, Ltd. and its related entities.
The complaint in the lawsuit alleges that Westgate engages in fraudulent conduct, fails to disclose material facts and required disclosures, and fails to provide purchasers adequate use and enjoyment of the timeshares they have purchased, all in violation of Tennessee state law. The complaint alleges that as part of its scheme, Westgate utilizes a closing folio that contains a “secret pocket” which closing agents often use to hide key disclosures.
The complaint also alleges that because Westgate oversells its units, restricts their availability, and uses many of the units for nightly rentals and for soliciting new buyers, units are often completely unavailable for “owners” during the times they intend to use them. In short, according to the complaint, Westgate’s scheme leaves purchasers with nothing but the obligation to pay additional fees and charges.