Diamond Resort

Curthoys v Diamond

Case Number: 2:20-cv-00760

Last Updated: April 16, 2021

Status

Pending Diamond’s Motion to Compel Arbitration

Location

US District Court Eastern District of CA (removed)

Presiding Judge

Judge Morrison England

Date Filed

04/13/2020

Highlights

Timeshare owners sued Diamond for improperly refusing to accept their paid-in-full timeshare into Diamond’s voluntary surrender program, in violation of California’s elder abuse laws and against the state’s public policy prohibiting a timeshare developer from restricting its customers’ access to legal counsel.

Case Posture

Claims:

Timeshare owners’ complaint against Diamond alleges violations of California’s Business & Professions Code § 17200, et seq. (the Unfair Competition Act), and California Welfare & Institutions Code § 15610.30 (Financial Elder Abuse). The Curthoys seek a judicial declaration and an order as follows:

  • That Diamond’s conduct as described in the complaint is unfair and fraudulent; and
  • That Diamond should be enjoined from prejudicing customers who seek legal advice.

The Curthoys additionally seek punitive damages and fees pursuant to California’s elder abuse statute.

Posture:

Pending ruling on Diamond’s Motion to Compel Arbitration.

Summary:

Robert and Suzanne Curthoys claim that Diamond engaged in unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business acts, and financial elder abuse in violation of California statutory law. According to the complaint, in connection with the Arizona’s Attorney General’s investigation of Diamond’s alleged violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, Diamond entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance that required Diamond to implement a voluntary surrender program; ultimately, Diamond implemented and advertised such a program under the name Transitions.™

The Curthoys allege that Diamond nonetheless refused to take back their paid-in-full timeshare citing the fact that the Curthoys had at one time hired an attorney related to their attempt to transfer their timeshare to a third party. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Diamond denied their application to the voluntary surrender program “due to your account history reflecting legal representation on your end submitted to relinquish your vacation interest,” and “[s]ince working with a third party company or law firm is a disqualifier for Transitions, I am unable to submit a Transitions Request for you.”

The timeshare owners allege that California public policy expressly recognizes “the necessity of [ensuring] the right of every person to freely and fully confer and confide in one having knowledge of the law in order that its citizens may have adequate advice and a proper defense.” According to the complaint Diamond “states that it is their policy to deny relief to consumers if they consult with an attorney regarding their legal rights.”

Selected Events:

5/13/20 – In responding to Diamond’s motion to compel arbitration, the Curthoys frame the issue as “whether California public policy prohibits a timeshare developer from restricting their customers’ access to legal counsel—is particularly suited to a public proceeding.” [10]


4/20/20 – Diamond files a motion to compel arbitration. [4-1]

Click on the PDF titles below to view.

Docket link

Operative Complaint

Critical Orders

Critical Briefs

Transcripts

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Parties

Plaintiffs:

Robert & Suzanne Curthoys

Plaintiffs’ counsel:

Christine Howson, The Wolf Firm, Irvine, CA

Defendant:

Diamond Resorts International, Inc.

Defendant’s counsel:

Greenspoon Marder

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