Two purchasers of Las Vegas vacation timeshare properties say they were victimized by dishonest sales tactics and are taking the timeshare companies to court.
Las Vegas attorney Barry Levinson last month filed separate lawsuits over the deals involving timeshare operators Consolidated Resorts Inc. and Summer Bay Resorts.
In one suit, a Nye County couple claims they were exploited in violation of Nevada’s Elder Abuse law.
Robert and Ellen Gooden claim personnel at Summer Bay Resorts were supposed to be helping them sell their interest in a timeshare condominium project, but then tricked them into buying another project they had no interest in.
Summer Bay operates the Desert Club timeshare project in Las Vegas.
"While in the process of signing the necessary paperwork to effectuate the sale of plaintiffs’ interest in the subject condominium project, an employee of the ... defendants slipped in papers unbeknownst to plaintiffs which consisted of a purchase agreement for the acquisition of additional property," the lawsuit alleges.
The suit says the Goodens didn’t know they had agreed to buy another property until they received a credit card receipt in the mail noting the purchase; and they say they had been asked to buy the subject property a year earlier at a lower price but were not interested in it.
The plaintiffs say they were the victims of fraud, deceptive trade practices and were not advised of their right to rescind the deal until it went into effect.
The couple, who were ages 60 and 67 at the time of the transaction, also allege Desert Club and Summer Bay Resorts violated the state Elder Abuse law.
They say the sales person they were dealing with "took advantage of plaintiffs’ advanced age and lack of commercial sophistication to perpetuate an act of fraud." They say the defendants are liable for "damages for injuries suffered by older or vulnerable persons as a result of abuse, neglect or exploitation."
Officials with Summer Bay Resorts and Desert Club could not immediately be reached for comment.
The second case involves Consolidated Resorts, a Las Vegas company that operates Las Vegas timeshares Tahiti Village, Tahiti and Club de Soleil; along with timeshare resorts in Florida and Hawaii.
Timeshare buyer Phillip Ramos, who lives in Clark County, alleges in the lawsuit that the only reason he bought an interest in two timeshare condominiums in Las Vegas is because he was assured by a Consolidated official that he could transfer the times he had purchased for use at other timeshare locations, specifically in Hawaii.
But after buying an interest in the Las Vegas timeshares, Ramos was told there was a lack of availability of timeshare locations in his desired travel destination of Hawaii.
The complaint alleges breach of contract, fraud and the use of deceptive trade practices by Consolidated. The suit also claims Ramos was not advised of his right to rescind the contract and did not discover the alleged misrepresentations until after the contract took effect.
Consolidated Resorts has not yet responded to the allegations and its policy is not to comment on litigation.
Separately, a lawsuit pitting the Palazzo resort on the Las Vegas Strip against Consolidated has been quietly dropped.
The parent companies of the Palazzo and its shopping mall, the Shoppes at the Palazzo, filed suit last month in Clark County District Court against Consolidated, claiming it failed to open marketing booths at the Palazzo resort and owed the Palazzo millions of dollars in rent.
Attorneys for the Palazzo moved Jan. 14, six days after the suit was filed, to have it dismissed. There was no explanation for the dismissal and officials with both companies have declined to comment on the suit.
Steve Green, Wed, Feb 11, 2009 (2 a.m.)