Rarity Club developer ordered to pay Chattanooga home builder $5.8 million

Chattanooga Times Free Press-The developer of the failed Rarity Club development on Nickajack Lake has been ordered to pay a Chattanooga home builder nearly $5.8 million for not fulfilling promises for a golf course and luxury lakefront resort.

A Marion County Circuit Court jury ordered that Mike Ross and his Rarity Communities pay nearly $1.9 million in compensatory damages and nearly $3.9 million in punitive damages to Bill Worley Construction Co. Worley acquired several lots and built a luxury home on Nickajack Lake in what was to be a 578-acre luxury residential development. But Worley and others who bought the lots said they were unable to sell the properties or build their homes because Ross never completed the promised amenities for Rarity Club.

Marion County Circuit Court Judge Buddy D. Perry on Monday ordered Ross, Rarity Communities Inc., and Nickajack Shores Holdings LLC to pay the judgment following a week-long jury trial. The court judgment is believed to be one of the biggest ever in Marion County.

Worley declined immediate comment this afternoon and Ross could not be reached for comment.

Ross is also being sued by other property owners at Rarity Club and by Chattanooga developer John “Thunder” Thornton, who sold the property to Ross but claims he was never paid the full amount he was due.