AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- BidPrime Inc. today announced it is suing Seattle-based DemandStar Corp. and the County of Ramsey, Minnesota, for alleged intentional violations of Minnesota state law requiring access to specification documents that prospective government vendors need when preparing bids. The lawsuit also alleges multiple breaches of contract against DemandStar.
In the litigation, BidPrime seeks an injunction to compel the release of bid documents pertaining to five separate proposal requests (RFPs) the county issued between March 2019 and June of this year, as well as future requests for specification documents issued by Ramsey County.
"Today's action will send a message to purchasing authorities and their agents everywhere that they cannot infringe on the rights of prospective vendors to fully, freely, and fairly access bid documents," said BidPrime Chief Operating Officer Stephen Hetzel. "The information contained in such documents is essential to attracting better-quality bid submissions from more potential vendors, which can save taxpayers large amounts of money."
The facts presented in BidPrime's complaint state the company was repeatedly given the runaround when it sought bid documentation from Ramsey. According to the filing, Ramsey told BidPrime to request the documents from DemandStar, which, in turn, sent BidPrime back to Ramsey. Afterward, BidPrime continued to be bounced between the defendants, each time coming up emptyhanded and increasingly frustrated, the complaint indicates.
"Ours was a simple request for public data," said Hetzel. "But, instead, we ended up wasting a substantial amount of time and money in a fruitless effort to acquire information that, by law, is supposed to have been accessible to everyone."
The breach-of-contract claim arises from DemandStar's written agreement to provide free access to its database to any provider of goods or services. The lawsuit alleges that DemandStar repeatedly refused to permit BidPrime to access bid and RFP records published by government agencies—presumably as part of DemandStar's scheme to limit its competition.
The civil lawsuit was filed in Minnesota District Court in St. Paul. The case is captioned BidPrime Inc. vs. DemandStar Corp. and Ramsey County, Minnesota[case number 62-CV-20-4751].
Former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer and three-time Minnesota Lawyer magazine Attorney of the Year Chris Madel represents BidPrime. Joining him as co-counsel on the case is colleague Jennifer M. Robbins, a repeated Minnesota "SuperLawyer" and "Best Lawyer," who represents Fortune 500 companies and individuals in a variety of high-stakes controversies and complex matters.
BidPrime is a comprehensive, constantly updated database of government business opportunities that permits clients to learn of government opportunities they might otherwise overlook and to discover them as soon as they are issued, thereby giving clients the longest time possible in which to analyze and perfect their RFP responses.