Monday, May 23, 2005

Large Lawsuit May Cost Key West Millions

This is one of those stories that depending on the outcome, could shake the foundation of Key West.
For the past two weeks, Key West is defending itself alongside of the Conch Tour Train and Trolley owners, Historic Tours of America. The case was filed by a local businessman who created an amphibeous tour 10 years ago called Duck Tours, using vintage World War II vehicles. The Duck Tours went out of business after being harrassed by the city, the case alleges. You see, the Conch Tour Train and Trolley have an exclusive license to operate a sightseeing tour on city streets. A Florida superior court, on appeal, ruled that the Train/Trolley/City arrangement constituted a monopoly and was in violation of free trade laws. Hence, the case was sent back to the local district court where it is being reheard.
The details are a bit nasty, and from my perspective, look like a slam dunk case for the prosectution. The Ducks are suing for $14 million, a sum that could cause a fiscal calamity for Key West. Today should be closing arguements.
More can be read about it here.
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