Friday, May 20, 2005 | 11:16 a.m.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the developer of the Vegas Grand condominium project.
The lawsuit -- which lists as plaintiffs Nevada residents Thomas Blinkinsop, Trisha Blinkinsop, John Thompson and Maryan Thompson and California resident Phillip C. George -- comes just weeks after the developer notified prospective residents that the price of the units they had reserved would be going up.
The lawsuit was filed in Clark County District Court and listed among the defendants Vegas Grand Condominiums Limited Partnership and Florida-based developer Del American Inc.
The lawsuit claims breach of contract, fraud and deceptive trade practices, among other allegations.
The suit said that buyers signed reservation agreements and made deposits of $10,000 to $25,000 -- possibly as early as November 2003. They were notified, however, in April 2005 that the project was being "reconstituted," the lawsuit said. The new option for reservation holders was to accept a discount on new unit prices or have their deposits refunded, plus a 5 percent bonus.
Earlier this month, Chris DelGuidice, Del American's chief executive, told the Las Vegas Sun that the price increases were due to rising construction costs, and that none of the initial reservations has been converted into contracts and were voidable by either the buyer or the developer.
The lawsuit -- filed by Las Vegas attorney George O. West III -- said: "plaintiffs and class members contend that reservation agreements are in full force and effect and that the defendants' purported cancellation of their agreements is of no legal force or effect, and they are entitled purchase of the condominium unit at the project referenced in their agreement at the price specified in their agreement."
Matt Brimhall, Del American's vice president for marketing, said the company stands by its position.
"There is no merit in this lawsuit," he said. "We are fully confident in our position on this issue, and we will fully defend our stance."
The lawsuit claims that the new prices were nearly double the original price and that "the defendants had no intention of selling the condominium units to plaintiffs and the class members for the original price."
Vegas Grand project is located near the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. A spokesman for Vegas Grand could not be reached for comment.
Las Vegas resident J. Michael Schaefer -- acting without an attorney -- made similar claims in a lawsuit filed on May 11.