South Carolina timeshare owners are now able to sue developers for violations of industry regulations, the S.C. Supreme Court decided Wednesday.
The high court’s opinion will allow the estimated 100 lawsuits that have been filed against two Hilton Head Island timeshare companies to go forward, said attorneys Joseph DuBois and Zach Naert, who represent timeshare buyers in the cases.
The timeshare companies involved argued that complaints should be decided by the S.C. Real Estate Commission, not the courts.
But the state Supreme Court unanimously decided Wednesday that the law clearly states commission oversight should not limit buyers’ rights to file a civil lawsuit.
The court considered two complaints against Hilton Head timeshare companies in the opinion.
One couple sued Bluewater by Spinnaker on Hilton Head in 2015, claiming the company was not registered as required by the S.C. Vacation Time Sharing Plans Act when they bought their share in a property.
Another Hilton Head company, Coral Resorts LLC, is facing lawsuits from multiple buyers claiming violations for, among other things, alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unfair trade practices.
Many of the suits in the cases have been stalled for more than five years and are now able to go forward after Wednesday’s opinion, said DuBois and Naert.
Neither Coral Resorts or Spinnaker responded to a request for comment by press time Wednesday.