HomeAway Gets $595K in Attorney's Fees in Challenge to Short-Term Rental Law
LVT Number: #31346
HomeAway.com, Inc., a "home-sharing platform" that covered short-term rental of apartments in NYC, sued the City of New York in 2018 to challenge a new local law that required companies such as HomeAway and Airbnb to submit to the city expansive data every month concerning all their local users. In January 2019, HomeAway and Airbnb, in a separate action, obtained a preliminary injunction, stopping the law's enforcement as likely violating the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The law never took effect, and eventually both cases were settled when the city agreed to enact a much narrower provision that relaxed reporting requirements and scaled back the types of data produced to the city.
Later, HomeAway asked the court to award attorney's fees. The court ruled for HomeAway, finding that it was a prevailing party in a case addressing a Fourth Amendment question of first impresssion. The court awarded HomeAway attorney's fees and costs totalling $595,000. Although the court never entered a permanent injunction or a final judgment in the case, HomeAway's attorneys had obtained a ruling on the merits of its Fourth Amendment claim and secured consequential "durable relief" on behalf of their client. The court did cut the requested amount of attorney's fees by more than half since the work of HomeAway's attorneys had overlapped with that of Airbnb's counsel. And Airbnb had worked with the city, settled its case, and waived any claim to attorney's fees.
HomeAway.com, Inc. v. City of New York: Index No. cv-07742, 2021 US Dist LEXIS 37643, 2021 WL 791732 (SDNY; 3/1/21; Engelmayer, J) [39-pg. doc.]
|home away v nyc 18cv7742 Opinion Order 3.1.21.pdf||295.54 KB|
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