Florida was blocked by a federal judge in Miami from enforcing a law set to take effect July 1 that would prohibit state agencies from contracting with any company that has an affiliate that does business in Cuba.
Odebrecht Construction Inc. sued the Florida Department of Transportation to challenge the law, which the company said would prevent it from taking government contracts because it’s a wholly owned unit of a Brazilian company that works in Cuba.
U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore said today before issuing a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the law that federal courts had struck down two similar statutes, one in Massachusetts and another in Miami.
“It’s not as if there isn’t some precedent there and there hasn’t been a run at this issue at this point,” he said.
James Moye, an attorney for the company, argued at today’s hearing that the law prevents Odebrecht Construction, “which is in complete compliance with all federal regulations, from bidding on state contracts.”
Paul J. Martin, an attorney for Florida’s transportation department, contended the state has a right to decide where to spend its money.
“The state of Florida no longer wishes to spend its contractor dollars with companies which are affiliated with companies that do business with Cuba,” he said.
The case is Odebrecht Construction Inc. v. Prasad, 12- cv-22072, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.