Wilson, et al., v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., et al. dismissed
The plaintiffs who filed suit against Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., the Recreation.gov campground reservations system operator, have voluntarily dismissed their case. The proceedings in Wilson, et al. v. Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., et al., ended on September 25, 2023, when the plaintiffs dismissed the case after a lengthy discovery process.
Attorney Glenn E. Chappell of the Washington, D.C., firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP, filed the lawsuit on January 11, 2023, on behalf of plaintiffs Robyn Wilson, Tamera Streeter, Dana Oliver, Kirsten Jones, Natalia Loginova, Josh Berger, and Nick Lauritzen. Court filings sought to certify all Recreation.gov users as a plaintiff class. The principal complaint was over so-called “junk fees” charged by Recreation.gov in the campground reservation process.
Throughout the nearly nine months of pretrial motions and discovery, a particular point of contention was the confidentiality of information contained in the contract between Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. As is usually the case with government contractors whose contracts specify trade practices, costs, pricing of services, and fees, Booz Allen sought to keep the information confidential, citing competition for the major Recreation.gov contract.
Booz Allen statement about Recreation.gov
Both parties to the lawsuit were contacted to provide information and context for the plaintiffs’ voluntary dismissal. Tycko & Zavareei did not respond to the request. A Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. spokesperson provided RV Travel with the following statement on the development:
We are pleased with the plaintiffs’ appropriate decision to withdraw this matter after learning about Booz Allen’s important role in supporting the Recreation One-Stop program. We are immensely proud of how Booz Allen has developed and supported Recreation.gov, and of the significant value that the Recreation One-Stop program offers to the public in preserving our national parks. Booz Allen continues to bring value across the entire platform, replacing time-intensive manual processes and helping the program to equitably accommodate Americans’ growing demand for visitation to national parks.
From October 2021-2022 alone, Recreation.gov facilitated more than 10 million reservations – nearly triple the number of reservations three years ago. It also added 7,400 new activities and experiences, received 47 million visitors, and saw the creation of 3+ million user accounts. As demand has increased, the efficiencies of Recreation.gov have enabled rangers to spend more time with visitors, reduced overcrowding in parks, and lowered facilities’ administrative costs – ultimately improving visitors’ overall experiences while preserving our environment.
As always, Booz Allen is focused on our mission of supporting our clients and strengthening how the U.S. government serves millions of Americans every day. Recreation.gov remains an outstanding example of the benefits that innovative, outcomes-based contracting models can deliver for the federal government, industry and citizens.
No specific reason was given for the plaintiffs’ dismissal of their case, leaving the matter ripe for speculation that during the request for production of documents process, plaintiffs did not discover evidence of their claim about the so-called “junk fees” and were thus lacking a valid claim.