Justia Transportation Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Class Action
Noel v. NY City Taxi & Limousine Comm’n
Two people who use wheelchairs and organizations that represent persons with disabilities brought a class action against the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and the TLC Commissioner for violation of Parts A and B of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the New York City Human Rights Law. The district court granted plaintiffs partial summary judgment as to liability on the ADA claim and entered a temporary injunction, requiring that all new taxi medallions and street-hail livery licenses be limited to vehicles that are wheelchair accessible until the TLC proposes and the district court approves a comprehensive plan to provide meaningful access to taxi service for wheelchair-bound passengers. The Second Circuit vacated the temporary injunction as improvidently granted. Although the TLC exercises pervasive control over the taxi industry in New York City, defendants were not required by Title II(A) to deploy their licensing and regulatory authority to mandate that persons who need wheelchairs be afforded meaningful access to taxis. View "Noel v. NY City Taxi & Limousine Comm'n" on Justia Law
Downing v. Globe Direct LLC
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles sought proposals from contractors to print and send registration renewal notices along with advertisements to raise revenue to defray costs. RMV would provide the contractor with information (name, address, date of birth, and license number) that was generally exempt from public disclosure under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2721-25, and Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 4, sect. 7, cl. 26(n), that the contractor would need to safeguard from unlawful public disclosure. Defendant's winning bid indicated that it understood and accepted the terms. The contract specified that Massachusetts would continue to exercise ownership over all personal data, and that a violation of the DPPA or the Massachusetts privacy law would cause the contract to terminate. Plaintiff, who received a registration renewal notice that included advertisements, filed a putative class action on behalf of himself and other drivers who, without providing consent, had received advertisements from defendant. The district court granted defendant judgment on the pleadings based on failure to join the Commonwealth as an indispensable party. The First Circuit affirmed, finding no violation of the DPPA. Defendant does not disclose the information it legitimately receives, as the state's contractor, to others. View "Downing v. Globe Direct LLC" on Justia Law
Maracich v. Spear
This appeal arose from the dismissal of all claims alleged in a putative class action complaint filed pursuant to the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-2725. Appellees (Lawyers) were South Carolina attorneys who in 2006 and 2007 instituted several "group action" lawsuits in South Carolina state court against numerous car dealerships under the South Carolina Regulation of Manufacturers, Distributors, and Dealers Act (Dealers Act), S.C. Code Ann. 56-15-10 et seq. Appellants (Buyers) were car buyers who received mailings from Lawyers regarding the Dealers Act litigation. Buyers sued Lawyers in this action alleging that Lawyers violated the DPPA when they obtained and used Buyers' personal information without their consent in connection with the Dealers Act litigation. The court held that the district court erred in its determination that the conduct of Lawyers did not constitute solicitation within the contemplation of the applicable DPPA prohibition. Nevertheless, the district court correctly ruled that Lawyers' conduct in respect to Buyers' personal information was undertaken in anticipation and in connection with litigation, a use permitted by the DPPA. View "Maracich v. Spear" on Justia Law
Palmer, et al. v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co.; Kluessendorf, et al. v. Progressive Preferred Ins. Co.; Hara, et al. v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co.; Johnson, et al. v. American Family Mutual Ins.
Insureds, Minnesota residents, filed class action complaints against their automobile insurers alleging violations of a Minnesota statute, Minn. Stat. 65B.285, requiring insurers to provide a discount for cars which have antitheft devices and breach of contract claims based on the failure to apply the statutory discount. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the insureds' amended complaints, rejecting their attempts here, particularly in the absence of any indication that Minnesota's administrative remedies were inadequate, to circumvent Minnesota's administrative remedies in order to create a private right of action. View "Palmer, et al. v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co.; Kluessendorf, et al. v. Progressive Preferred Ins. Co.; Hara, et al. v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co.; Johnson, et al. v. American Family Mutual Ins." on Justia Law
Cook, et al. v. ACS State & Local Solutions, et al.
Plaintiffs brought a class action suit against a variety of defendants, alleging that each improperly obtained personal driver information from the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) in violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-2725. The district court found that neither of plaintiffs' theories stated a valid claim under the DPPA and granted defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss. The court held that plaintiffs could not establish a violation of the DPPA if all defendants have done was obtain driver information in bulk for potential use under a permissible purpose. The court also held that plaintiffs could not establish a DPPA violation by alleging that defendants obtained personal information with the sole purpose of selling it to third parties who have permissible section 2721(b) uses for the information. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed. View "Cook, et al. v. ACS State & Local Solutions, et al." on Justia Law
Hirsch v. CSX Transp., Inc.
Following a 2007 train derailment and three-day fire that allegedly exposed a small Ohio town to cancer-causing agents, plaintiffs sought damages on behalf of a putative class. Plaintiffs' expert testified that the normal background level of dioxin is four parts per trillion and that the range within area homes was from 11.7 to 274 ppt. A doctor testified about increased risk of cancer. The district court granted summary judgment for the train company, finding that plaintiffs had not established general or specific causation and, as a matter of law, any increased risk of cancer or other diseases was too insignificant to warrant the court's ordering a lengthy period of medical monitoring. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, noting the absence of conclusive medical evidence that plaintiffs faced even a one-in-a-million increased risk of cancer. View "Hirsch v. CSX Transp., Inc." on Justia Law
Howard, et al. v. Oregonian Publishing Co., et al.; Rodriquez et al. v. AMPCO Parking Sys., et al.
These appeals involved two essentially identical actions filed in two different states by different groups of plaintiffs, each seeking to represent a class. The actions sought damages on the ground that plaintiffs' personal information was obtained by defendants in violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-2725. Joining other courts which have dealt with similar claims, the court held that defendants' actions were not unlawful under the DPPA and affirmed the dismissal of the actions by the district courts. View "Howard, et al. v. Oregonian Publishing Co., et al.; Rodriquez et al. v. AMPCO Parking Sys., et al." on Justia Law
Gabarick, et al. v. Laurin Maritime (America) Inc., et al.
This case arose when an ocean-going tanker collided with a barge that was being towed on the Mississippi River, which resulted in the barge splitting in half and spilling its cargo of oil into the river. Following the filing of numerous lawsuits, including personal injury claims by the crew members and class actions by fishermen, the primary insurer filed an interpleader action, depositing its policy limits with the court. At issue was the allocations of the interpleader funds as well as the district court's finding that the maritime insurance policy's liability limit included defense costs. The court affirmed the district court's decision that defense costs eroded policy limits but was persuaded that its orders allocating court-held funds among claimants were tentative and produced no appealable order. View "Gabarick, et al. v. Laurin Maritime (America) Inc., et al." on Justia Law
Senne v. Village of Palatine, IL
Plaintiff found a $20 parking citation on his windshield and initiated a class action, claiming that the inclusion of personal information, such as his driver's license number, address, and weight, violated the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2721, which generally makes it unlawful to disclose personal information contained in a motor vehicle record. The district court dismissed and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. While the citation did amount to a "disclosure," the Act includes an exception for service of process. View "Senne v. Village of Palatine, IL" on Justia Law
Senne v. Village of Palatine, IL
Plaintiff found a $20 parking citation on his windshield and initiated a class action, claiming that the inclusion of personal information, such as his driver's license number, address, and weight, violated the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2721, which generally makes it unlawful to disclose personal information contained in a motor vehicle record. The district court dismissed and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. While the citation did amount to a "disclosure," the Act includes an exception for service of process.