Esperanza Mansion, the landmark hotel, restaurant, and wedding venue overlooking Keuka Lake that closed its doors last year, has been dealt another financial blow.
Facing a class action lawsuit filed by banquet servers for unpaid gratuities, Esperanza owner David Wegman has agreed to a $210,000 settlement for the local workers employed by Esperanza between Aug. 2010 and Aug. 2016.
Named plaintiffs Shari Folts and Gail Owen filed the suit on behalf of themselves and all the other hourly banquet service workers against defendants Esperanza Management LLC, Esperanza Properties LLC, The Wegman Group LLC and David Wegman, individually and as owner of Esperanza Management LLC, Esperanza Properties LLC and the Wegman Group LLC. They claimed unpaid gratuities under New York Labor Law because Esperanza charged customers for “mandatory service charges” for banquet events but never passed the money on to those who worked the events. The attorney for the plaintiffs, Justin M. Cordello, says over 100 workers will be paid in the class action suit settlement, along with $70,000 in attorney fees and $10,000 in administrative charges.
Esperanza workers with questions or who wish to be included or excluded from the claass action suit should contact Ferr & Mullin P.C., P.O. Box 440, Fishers, N.Y. 14453, 585-869-0210; email email@example.com.
Genesee Regional Bank in Rochester is also seeking to recoup money owed to them by Esperanza. In April, the bank’s commercial lending division filed foreclosure papers in Yates County Court, claiming over $2.86 million. The papers claim Esperanza and Wegman “have failed to comply with the conditions of said notes, mortgages, security agreements, and forbearance agreement by omitting and failing to pay items of principal, interest, taxes, assessments, water rates, insurance premiums, escrow, and/or other charges.”
When asked to comment via email, Wegman replied, “Esperanza has settled the servers’ suit and we are dealing with several potential buyers to purchase Esperanza.” Wegman has offered Esperanza for sale for several years, resorting last year to an online auction. That, however, failed to attract a minimum bid said to be over $3 million.