SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Aug. 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After a two week trial, a San Bernardino Superior Court jury reached a unanimous fraud verdict for intentional misrepresentation, concealment, and negligent misrepresentation and awarded $3,585,000 in damages and $750,000 in punitive damages to 2,500 members who purchased campground memberships and/or paid membership fees to Halo Resorts, Inc. from December 16, 2007 to February 20, 2013.
"In a very unique trial that featured both a jury and a bench trial at the same time, a jury found Halo Resorts falsely represented to its members that it was entitled to charge these fees and concealed the fact that they were not entitled to charge the fees," said attorney Kitty Szeto with the R. Rex Parris law firm who tried the case with attorney Kevin Shenkman of Shenkman and Hughes law firm.
"For several years, Halo Resorts has sold a "lifetime membership" – to thousands of consumers over those years. Essentially, the membership entitled consumers to utilize the facilities and amenities at Halo Resorts' two membership campgrounds, and obligated members to pay annual dues to Halo Resorts," said Szeto.
"Halo Resorts charged its members fees that were never disclosed in their contracts and in violation of the California Membership Camping Act. Members were charged termination fees, transfer fees, and were tricked into going to the campgrounds to take a new photo ID but then were forced into 10 by 10 rooms and were presented with different "options" (1) to leave their memberships alone but then their annual dues would increase and they would be assessed a $60 monthly surcharge for the next 5 years, (2) purchase an upgrade (gold, silver, or bronze for $3,994 and up) which essentially gave them nothing more than what they already paid for, and (3) terminate their membership by paying $2,350. Unconscionably, consumers were forced to make a decision that day within the hour," said lead attorney Kitty Szeto with the R. Rex Parris law firm.
A judge will be deciding three remaining claims (violation of the California Membership Camping Act, Unfair Competition, and Unjust Enrichment). Case Name: Wilkinson v. Halo Resorts, Inc. - Case No. CIV DS 1114158
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