A class action lawsuit against a timeshare company has been transferred from Pennsylvania to a Florida federal court.
This transfer was made after a motion filed by the defense to transfer the case to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District Court of Florida, which was filed because the company is based in Florida.
That company, Westgate Vacation Villas LLC, is the defendant in the case Jason O. Gardner and Eneidaliz Rodriguez v. Westgate Vacation Villas LLC.
The plaintiffs bought a timeshare while on vacation in South Carolina from the defendant in 2013. Despite the vacation being in South Carolina, the property – and Westgate Vacation Villas LLC – was located in Florida. Due to Gardiner and Rodriguez being married, the timeshare was a joint purchase and, according to the complaint, one that they thought would increase home equity.
However, the plaintiffs allege that was not the case. It was also alleged in the complaint that the timeshare would have blackout dates, in addition to other problems.
The defense argued it is in the best interest for both the plaintiffs and the defendant for the case to be moved to a court in Florida, instead of in Pennsylvania, where the plaintiffs live and initially filed suit against Westgate Vacation Villas. However, the majority of documents as well as witnesses (for both plaintiffs and the defense) vital to the case are in Florida, Westgate says.
A motion to dismiss the case against Westgate Vacation Villas in its entirety, or to at least move the case to a court in Florida, was filed by the defense in March. The decision to move the case to Florida was made in April.
A major point made in the motion filed by Westgate Vacation Villas to move the case to Florida was that since the defendant did not have any corporate offices or dealings in Pennsylvania, that it should be held accountable for any alleged wrongdoings where it does have corporate offices and/or dealings.
The state of Florida would have more of an interest in seeing the final outcome of this case than the state of Pennsylvania or even the state of South Carolina, despite the sale of the alleged timeshare occurring there, the defense said. This is because the civil suit against Westgate Vacation Villas might pertain to Florida laws governing timeshares, real estate, or anything else that may pertain to the lawsuit in general.