On 27 September 2019, the attorneys representing the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia, Inc. (2018 revenues approximately US$11.2 billion), amended the complaint to acknowledge Expedia’s Internet site had removed the listing for a hotel in Varadero, Matanzas, Republic of Cuba, managed by Palma, Spain-based Barcelo Hotel Group, which through four brands manages more than 250 hotels in twenty-two countries.
Barcelo Hotel Group manages three (3) properties in the Republic of Cuba: Barcelo Solymar, Occidental Arenas Blancas, and Allegro Palma Real.
According to the lawsuit: “…the Barceló Solymar (the “Resort”) was built. The Resort is operated by the Barceló Hotel Group (the Barceló Group”) in a joint venture with the Cuban government. Stays at the Resort are offered to travelers, including Florida and other U.S. residents, not only directly through the Barceló Group’s own website, but also—until very recently—through online booking providers like Expedia, Inc. (“Expedia”).”
27 September 2019
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 19-cv-22629-FAM
DIEGO TRINIDAD, v. EXPEDIA, INC., defendant.
AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
“Between the date Trinidad gave Expedia notice of his intent to add Expedia to this action on August 8, 2019, and the filing of this Amended Complaint, it appears that Expedia, in recognition of its liability, has removed its listing for the Resort from its website. Expedia is nonetheless liable because it trafficked the Barcelo Solymar within the last two years. See 22 U.S.C. § 6084”
“It appears that the Resort was removed from the Expedia website between August 7, 2019, the date Expedia received notice of Trinidad’s intent to add Expedia to this action, and the filing of this Amended Complaint. Expedia’s removal of the Barcelo Solymar appears to be a subsequent remedial measure evidencing guilty knowledge.”
Expedia [Expedia, Inc., and Expedia Group, Inc.] is currently listed as a defendant in four (4) lawsuits filed using Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as “Libertad Act”). LINK To Lawsuit Statistics
Title III authorizes lawsuits in United States District Courts against companies and individuals who are using a certified claim or non-certified claim where the owner of the certified claim or non-certified claim has not received compensation from the Republic of Cuba or from a third-party who is using (“trafficking”) the asset.
U.S. - Cuba Trade and Economic Council, Inc.
Established in 1994, the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council provides an efficient and sustainable educational structure in which the United States business community may access accurate, consistent, and timely information and analysis on matters and issues of interest regarding United States-Republic of Cuba commercial, economic, and political relations.