The lawsuit between Starwood and the Parker Meridien Hotels is fascinating not just because it’s a window into agreements between loyalty programs and hotels that we don’t often get to see the details of but also because it reveals a ton about how the programs work.
In this case it’s alleged that because Starwood pays its hotels a ton more cash for award nights when hotels are nearly fully booked, the Parker Meridien hotels in Palm Springs and New York fudged their books to appear to be fully booked much more often — extracting more than an extra million dollars in reimbursements from SPG.
Reader Seth Theriault shared how to access all of the court documents related to the case online.
Now he emails with an update on the case.
The highlights are as follows:
– Starwood opposed the motion to dismiss (see Docket 13, 14, 15)
– The hotels introduced new arguments in their reply to the Starwood MTD opposition (See Docket 16 for the reply, Docket 19). Starwood’s application for a sur-reply was granted (filed under Docket 23).
– A protective order is in effect (Docket 21 and 22) for the sur-reply and for discovery (28 and 29). I guess we won’t be seeing any more juicy inside information.
– Starwood has a new whistleblower at the Palm Springs hotel (See Docket 30 and 31). It appears that a declaration from that person was filed under seal at Docket 32.
– Starwood and the hotels went back and forth on the motion to dismiss. In the end, the hotels got the fraud and unjust enrichment claims thrown out, but the declaratory judgement claim and breach of contract are going to JURY trial on 2/10/2014 (see Docket 35 and 36).
Very inside stuff, no new bombshells, and it sounds like we’ll have to wait awhile for much more movement here unless the case settles.
Thanks for the update, Seth!