In a landmark decision, the Florida Supreme Court denied Uber’s request for appeal in a dispute over rides at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Becker represented the plaintiff, Yellow Cab of Broward County, in the case that pitted the traditional taxi service against ride-sharing giant, Uber, and Broward County.
Broward County negotiates license agreements with commercial transportation companies operating at FLL that require each company to pay fees to the County based on the number of passenger pickups at the airport. Traditionally, this information is a matter of public record. When Yellow Cab requested the information regarding Uber’s activities at FLL, Broward County refused to release the records pursuant to Uber’s instruction (through its subsidiary).
A Florida appellate court had upheld a circuit judge’s ruling that the public is entitled to Uber’s records because the information is not a protected “trade secret” as Uber claimed, which would shield the information from public disclosure. On Monday, the Supreme Court supported that decision by refusing to take up an appeal filed by the Uber subsidiary.
Uber, a traditionally private company which vigorously fights to prevent the release of its business information, has taken on similar litigation in other jurisdictions across the country and has been largely victorious outside of this decision. This historic outcome could lead to greater transparency in matters between private entities and public agencies both in Florida and elsewhere.
Shareholders Mark Stempler and Allen Levine led the Becker team in representing client, Yellow Cab of Broward County. Mr. Stempler is a Becker Shareholder practicing in the areas of government procurement law and construction litigation. He often represents private companies doing business with government agencies during the contract bidding, negotiation and protest processes, and in regulatory and ordinance promulgation. Mr. Levine serves as Chair of the firm’s Business Litigation practice and has substantial experience handling complex litigation for large corporate clients, closely held corporations, real estate developers, and financial institutions.
Becker, with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a multi-practice commercial law firm with attorneys, lobbyists, and other professionals at offices throughout the East Coast. More information is available at beckerlawyers.com.