Category Archives: Golf

Trump Sues Neighbors Over Cut-Down Trees

On February 5, 2016, a golf resort and complex in Doral, Florida, filed five separate lawsuits against its neighbors on allegations of criminal trespass and destruction of property.  The resort, titled “Trump National Doral,” which is owned and operated by a company headed by the Donald himself called “Trump Endeavor 12 LLC,” claims that neighbors to the course cut down plants and trees that abutted their respective properties.  According to the individual complaints, which were filed separately against each homeowner, the foliage was planted completely…

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Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus Files Motion to Dismiss Fraudulent Misrepresentation Suit

According to summary judgment motion papers filed by Jack Nicklaus on January 14, 2015, the golf legend asked the court to dismiss the plaintiffs’ $1.5 million claim. The action, filed in Utah federal court, rises from the plaintiffs’ investment in a planned golf course and the defendants’ alleged false representations. The planned golf course was set to be built in Southern Utah for $3.5 billion. However, the luxury resort went bankrupt in 2009. Plaintiffs Jeffrey and Judee Donner filed suit in 2011, claiming Jack Nicklaus…

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Tax Court Denies $7.9M in Conservation Deductions For NC Golf Course

On December 9, 2015, the U.S. Tax Court denied $7.9 million in conservation deductions for a North Carolina golf course — finding that members of the course’s residential community could not recover deductions for setting aside land for the golf course as it did not meet any conservation purpose as defined by the government. In 2003 and 2005, members of St. James Plantation — a gated residential community near Myrtle Beach, North Carolina — granted easements on land in their neighborhood for the benefit of…

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Titleist’s “Dimplegate” Lawsuit Lives On: Federal Judge Denies Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss

Three golf ball sellers must defend against patent infringement claims in a Massachusetts federal court as their motions to dismiss were denied. The defendant sellers argued that the case should be dismissed due to a lack of personal jurisdiction — they contended the plaintiff, Acushnet Co., could not prove the defendants had the minimum contact with Massachusetts necessary to obtain personal jurisdiction. Acushnet is the owner of Titleist, perhaps the most popular golf ball brand. In a federal action filed in Massachusetts during Spring 2015,…

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Golf Club Members to Court: Trump Not Entitled To Summary Judgment

A Florida Federal District Court received a response in opposition for summary judgment motion on Monday November 30, 2015, by a class of former Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa members seeking refunds on allegedly denied membership deposits. The response motion was filed against Donald Trump’s Jupiter Golf Club LLC, which had moved for summary judgment earlier this year. Trump had purchased the highly-touted Florida country club in 2012. The class argues that Trump bought the club on condition it abide by the then-existing membership agreements…

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Judge Alludes to Dismissal of Caddy Ad Lawsuit

At a hearing on Thursday, December 3, 2015, U.S. District Judge Vince Chabbria indicated that he is likely to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit brought by professional caddies against PGA Tour, Inc. In February 2015, professional caddie Mike Hicks and 81 others filed a class-action antitrust suit against the PGA Tour in a California federal court, alleging the Tour’s misappropriation of their “likeness and images in commercial activities.” The caddies seek for a share of revenue flowing in from caddies wearing bibs that display sponsors’ logos,…

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Former Sous Chef Wants Florida Golf Club to Fork Over OT Pay

On November 6, 2015, former sous chef Marcos Castro initiated a putative class action against a Florida golf club, claiming that the club withheld overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Castro alleges that his former employer, Windstar Club Inc., failed to compensate him with “time-and-a-half” pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Castro claims that other employees in similar positions were also intentionally deprived of overtime compensation and he seeks an expedited order so that he…

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Titleist’s Golf Ball IP Litigation: Is There a Dimple Threatening the Case?

An action filed in Spring 2015 by Acushnet, manufacturer of Titleist golf balls, sued ten direct-sale golf companies for patent infringement.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were selling golf balls using Titleist’s “triangular dipyramid dimple pattern.”  The pattern has 318 dimples made up of three different dimple sizes and arranged in a particular triangular pattern. The link between the defendants is that each company purchased their golf balls from the same Taiwanese company before reselling them to customers through direct internet sales. …

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PGA Tour Seeks Early Exit from Caddy Ad Lawsuit

On Friday August 21, PGA Tour Inc. filed a motion to dismiss with federal court, seeking to end the antitrust class-action lawsuit waged against it by a group of tour caddies. The lawsuit, brought by 80 PGA Tour caddies back in February, stems from the bibs the PGA requires the caddies to wear while walking the tour courses during tournaments.  The bibs contain advertisements of Tour sponsors and the caddies are not compensated for the advertising space they are forced to wear.  The lawsuit…

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Appeals Court OK’s Lawsuit Against Jack Nicklaus to Go Forward

A Colorado couple succeeded in dragging Jack Nicklaus into a legal battle after a federal appeals court allowed the suit to go forward. The couple Jeffrey and Judee Donner filed a lawsuit in 2011 against Nicklaus over a misrepresentation of his membership in Mount Holly, a luxury golf resort in Utah that went bankrupt in 2009 before it was even open.  They also alleged that the legend “solicited” them in 2007 to invest $1.5 million in the resort. More specifically, they mentioned promotional video that…

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