This Hilton Head golf course didn’t pay for $123K hurricane clean-up job, lawsuit says

Playing golf on Hilton Head was nearly impossible on Oct. 9, 2016.

Hurricane Matthew brought winds of up to 88 mph and 14 inches of rain the day before, and the Palmetto Hall golf course was one of the courses destroyed by the storm.

The north-end course required around $123,000 of cleanup work but, according to a lawsuit filed in the Beaufort County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 26, the facility’s management company never paid the bill.

Save A Tree, Inc., the landscape company that got the greens back up and running, has filed suit for $123,000 in the Beaufort County 14th Judicial Circuit against Brown Golf Management, the Pennsylvania-based company that manages the course.

According to the suit, course general manager Grant Backus ordered urgent work on the course after the storm.

As the cleanup process progressed, the suit says Save A Tree discovered more “obstacles”, and the two crews ended up doing much more work than initially planned, including:

  • Clearing the roads to the maintenance building
  • Removing trees from cart paths
  • Removing trees and debris from around bathrooms
  • Removing trees and debris from the parking lot, around the club house, on the tennis courts, and from the cart barn roof.
Palmetto Hall storm debris 1
Removal of roadside piles of storm debris from some gated communities could end up being paid for by county taxpayers. Jay Karr Jay Karr jkarr@islandpacket.com

Once the course was clear, the suit claims the landscaping development firm was never paid by Backus or Brown Golf Management.

The suit alleges Backus knew he never had the power to employ or pay the landscaping service, and that he acted deceptively.

It goes on to say that Brown Golf Management “never informed (the) Plaintiff during the course of work that Backus lacked authority to order work to be performed on the golf course.” That “constitutes a willful violation” of South Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the suit contends.

A spokesperson for Brown Golf Management said the firm does not comment on ongoing lawsuits.

Save A Tree officials did not return two calls seeking comment by The Island Packet over two days.

Scott Wild, the company’s attorney, declined comment Wednesday.

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