An Update on Wyndham’s Arbitration Shell Game
A fourth judge has ruled against Wyndham Vacation Resorts in their attempt to compel arbitration, As we reported earlier, three lower court judges in three lawsuits filed in Florida, New Jersey, and South Carolina, also denied Wyndham’s motion to compel arbitration. On September 13th, a second South Carolina judge denied Wyndham’s motion to compel arbitration. All the courts ruled that Wyndham plaintiffs could proceed by filing a lawsuit. Unlike a publicly filed lawsuit, arbitration is private and binding.
Wyndham keeps losing, but, to our knowledge, still does not provide in their contract, an alternative to arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The AAA refuses to arbitrate Wyndham cases because Wyndham refuses to pay AAA fees, stating that they disagree with two of their policies. Wyndham then filed motions asking the court to appoint a substitute arbitrator.
At least in the most recent South Carolina ruling, the judge was able to discern exactly what AAA policies Wyndham objected to that prompted them to stop paying fees. Oral arguments took place in Bedgood vs. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA on April 13, 2023. Wyndham’s attorney did not know what AAA policies Wyndham objected to. The judges seemed to find it baffling that Wyndham made no attempt to work things out with the AAA.
Last week we reported on Archambeault et al. vs. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, the fourth of five lawsuits in which the courts allowed claims of fraud to proceed. During discovery, it was learned that three Wyndham sales agents had 30, 47, and one had as many as 57 complaints filed against him, but none were terminated.
The most recent case involving arbitration was heard in South Carolina with Presiding Judge B. Alex Hyman. The case was Evelyn Seville and Will Pflanze v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, and PTVO Owners Association Case No: 2023-CP-26,01124. The judge’s order denying Wyndham’s motion was filed in the Court of Common Pleas, 15th Judicial Circuit on September 13, 2023.
Judge Hyman cited BRADLEY B. HEISMAN and JULIA MATONTI, Plaintiffs, vs. WYNDHAM VACATION RESORTS, INC., Defendant. Civil Action No. 20-11480-KM-JBC, filed in New Jersey state court. Wyndham removed the lawsuit to federal court. There they ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) failed to justify Wyndham’s actions. It was determined that Wyndham showed a “lack of good faith and fair dealing.” The court went on to add that, “provisions in the contract are unconscionable and denied plaintiffs basic remedies.”
The two AAA provisions that Judge Hyman stated in his order:
- Arbitration is required to be held in Orange County, Florida, contrary to AAA rules.
- The Wyndham contract limits damages recoverable by the plaintiff and denies recovery for “consequential, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or enhanced damages…”
One of the other lower court judges called Wyndham’s actions a “Shell Game” and a “runaround” or stall tactic. In Reynolds v. Wyndham, Case #4:22-cv-00892-JD also filed in South Carolina, Reynold’s arbitration claim was submitted on December 7, 2018. The plaintiffs were not notified by the AAA that their arbitration could not proceed, until December 30, 2020.
We have been following more than 11 lawsuits filed against Wyndham, beginning in 2019. In our next report, we look at a Declaration filed by a former Wyndham executive, in support of Wyndham plaintiffs, about how Wyndham manipulates inventory to benefit the general public, recruiting prospective buyers to attend sales sessions. Poor availability has been a common theme in all the lawsuits.
Comments from Timeshare Insider
After publishing last week’s article, Irene sent me this message: “Prophetic your banner as a court denied Wyndham’s motion to compel arbitration yesterday”, from this we can clearly say the tide is turning. Those who sit on the “Bench” as we call it in the UK, are becoming wise to the tactics of timeshare developers, they see what is happening in other courts with similar cases, and it is obvious they are now starting to see a pattern of “legal” manoeuvring to deflect the true issue, the deceit developers allow their sales agents to perpetuate.
We are seeing more and more stories of sales agents getting away with “fraud”, make no mistake that is exactly what it is, this is the definition of the word “Fraud”:
wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. (editors note: sales agents are paid on commission)
Other words used to describe “Fraud”
- sharp practice
- con trick
a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.
“mediums exposed as tricksters and frauds”, which can be easily replaced with, “timeshare sales agents being exposed for sharp practices”.
At the root of all this is the one clause which developers have relied upon for years, “We are not responsible for what our sales agents say”, or to call it by its true name the “Non-reliance clause”. It is also a point of fact this statement is never given at the start of any “sales presentation”, but at the end when everything is done and dusted. That is in our book a deliberate act which earns the title of “FRAUD”.
What do you the “jury” think?
Cast your vote with a comment.
That is all for this week, you will have noticed that there has been a lack of articles over the past couple of weeks, needed a break and had a lot of research to do, but we will be back to normal again next week. We hope you all have a great weekend, Baby Dog is raring to go to the park as we write, I’m sure he is a botanist, he seems to sniff every plant and flower, but he loves the freedom to roam.