Palm Beach Circuit judges denied two attempts by commercial real estate owner James Batmasian to keep private the details of pending lawsuits involving an employee and two independent contractors.
In the most recent ruling, Judge Meenu Sasser rejected on Wednesday James and Marta Batmasian’s request to block all future details of their suit against independent contractor James Baker from being made public. The Batmasians own more than $100 million worth of real estate in Palm Beach County. They responded to a discrimination and harassment suit from leasing agent Karla Sotomayor by suing Baker for allegedly stealing confidential company information.
Baker is suing the Batmasians under the Florida Whistleblower Act.
Sasser concluded the couple was “putting the cart before the horse” by trying to make lawsuit details confidential, according to the Palm Beach Post.
“I’m concerned about making a blanket designation of confidentiality,” she said. “We know that lawsuits are public record.”
Another Palm Beach Circuit judge, Peter Blanc, denied a July 23 emergency motion from the Batmasians, who sought to prevent the newspaper from writing about the lawsuits against them.
Earlier this week, The Batmasians released a written statement blasting the complaints from Sotomayor and Baker as “replete with lies, false statements and half truths.” [Palm Beach Post] — Eric Kalis