What would the Miami MLS saga be without yet another lawsuit? This time, FXE Futbol is getting in on the action.
FXE Futbol, LLC, the group that challenged Inter Miami CF for the right to redevelop Lockhart Stadium, has sued the City of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beckham United, LLC (the holding organization behind Inter Miami). The lawsuit was first reported by the Miami Herald.
While the complaint discusses topics we have seen before, there is one wild twist that is being alleged. Perhaps the battle for Lockhart stadium isn’t quite over.
At first glance the complaint, filed by attorney David J. Winker, requests that the court review the Public-Private Partnership Process with regards to the Lockhart site and the city’s decision to award the project to Inter Miami.
“This is an action challenging the validity and effect of the frantic and, ultimately, statutorily inadequate, Public-Private Partnership Process undertaken pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 255.065 by Defendant CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE”
FXE Futbol is seeking a writ of mandamus and civil action against not only the City of Fort Lauderdale but Miami Beckham United, citing damages of over $15,000. While this has been par for the course, this is the first time a competitor has filed a claim seeking to reverse the decision by a local government.
Where the petition really begins to get interesting is on line item 13. According to FXE Futbol, Inter Miami was spreading falsehoods regarding the level of asbestos present at Lockhart in its current state. FXE Futbol has outlined that Inter Miami was advising the city council that there was “a tremendous amount of asbestos present at the stadium” and therefore revitalization or renovation was not actually possible.
The complaint discusses how procedural violations were made by the City of Fort Lauderdale throughout the process, which is much like what we have seen argued and alleged against Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. Due to this being the first complaint being filed by a competing interest, FXE Futbol is seeking monetary damages in the amount of “lost profits”.
With March 2020 coming closer with each passing day, Inter Miami cannot afford another lengthy court battle that stalls the process of acquiring permits, clearance, and the demolition of Lockhart stadium. With the timeline already being questioned by the public, if this judgement is granted in favor of the plaintiffs we could see a real snag in Inter Miami’s plans to open in 2020.
Author’s Note: Omar Moubayed is not an attorney and does not claim to be an active member of the Florida Bar Association. Any and all information in this news story is neither his legal opinion nor the legal opinion of Magic City Soccer.