Attempt to target Zatz in Small Claims Court failed
September 4, 2009
The first attempt in Third District Small Claims Court to hold David Zatz personally accountable for the missing money to condominium owners failed on Wednesday.
Owner Robert Vatterott, who flew in from St. Louis, Mo., sat before Judge Craig Smith to receive an order to be paid the $2,000 he’s owed, and was told no.
On Aug. 19, three condo owners were granted a motion to be paid in the same court without any snags. Vatterott’s problem began at the top of his document.
When he filed in early May, he chose to list David Zatz and David Holland Resort Lodging (DHRL) as the defendants. Unfortunately, DHRL is merely a "doing business as" name for Crossways Corporation, and Zatz is an officer for Crossways.
Smith told Vatterott that the correct party (Crossways) had not been served in this case, and that he would have to refile.
"I wasn’t able to connect the dots I don’t know if Crossways is in good standing with the state," he said, citing the legal problems the company is has over issues of unpaid taxes and other concerns.
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Even though Vatterott’s contract is with Crossways, he chose to name David Zatz in an effort to hold him responsible and not allow him to hide behind company names.
"The claim is based on questions I have I can’t discern where David Holland Resort Lodging has ever been registered with Crossways," he told Smith. "Zatz is the registered agent."
Smith apologized to Vatterott, especially because he spent the money to fly in.
Vatterott used the term "alter ego" to describe the relationship between Zatz, Crossways and DHRL to Smith. That term was also recently used in a complaint filed in the court on behalf of the Park Station homeowners association.
That complaint told the court that the recent sale of assets from Crossways’ nightly rental business to PRG Resort Management (a newly formed entity belonging to Phoenix Realty Group of New York) makes the responsible party in this issue of missing money ambiguous.
Since Zatz made decisions for Crossways, and he’s still retained by PRG, the Park Station homeowners association wants the court to hold Zatz accountable.
Unfortunately for Vatterott and his frequent flyer miles, that logic was not honored in the small claims court.