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Virgil Wesley has lived in his modest Kansas City area house since 1995. Now, a posh county club is suing the 86-year-old World War II veteran over the placement of his garage. According to the Brookridge Country Club, a corner of Wesley’s small garage crosses onto their property and Something Must Be Done.
Family members say Brookridge Country Club is suing Wesley for $75,000, because they allege 60 square feet of his garage is on country club property, according to a survey. “I thought somebody was crazy!” Wesley said, “I’ve been maintaining it all these years!” “He’s a WWII veteran, he’s 86 years old, he’s wheelchair bound, he has no money, no ability to hire an attorney, and they know that!” said Virgil’s daughter, Louanna Davis.
Three years ago, the country club demanded that the vet tear down his garage. Virgil’s family pooled together $2,000 to pay for the errant 60 square feet. Brookridge didn’t reply — until this lawsuit, that is. The members-only club insisted that the six-by-ten garage corner had damaged them and only $75,000 could ameliorate their pain and suffering.
I’m not a lawyer, but let me lean on my marketing experience. Is $75K worth this kind of damage to your brand? The private club will have to pay much more than that to public relations, crisis communications and advertising pros to fix this embarrassment. (Not to mention the tens of thousands they’re paying the attorneys.)
Pro tip for Brookridge Country Club: The only reason you own any land at all is because of heroes like Virgil Wesley. Let him keep his 60 square feet of garage along with a free lifetime membership if he would lower himself to visit your establishment.
UPDATE: Via their Facebook page, Brookridge Country Club has voluntarily dismissed their suit against Virgil Wesley. Ricochet gets results! (Okay, technically, they posted the news on Facebook a few minutes before I published this article, but I still take full credit for their wise reversal. Something to do with being in different time zones and the daylight savings switch, I guess.)