Filed Date: April 12, 2018
Closed Date: Oct. 3, 2018
Clearinghouse coding complete
On April 12, 2018, six New York-based “for-hire vehicle” LLCs (FHVs), on behalf of their parent companies Lyft, Uber, and Via, filed this petition in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York (state trial court), pursuant to the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR) §§ 7803(3) and 7806. The petition appealed a 2017 rule passed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) requiring that by July 2023, 25 percent of all trips dispatched by FHVs take place in wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) (with intermediate targets beginning July 2018). CPLR §7803(3) provides a cause of action to challenge rule determinations of New York government entities as arbitrary and capricious, and § 7806 confers the authority to the state courts to annul rule determinations in response to legal challenges. The case was assigned to Supreme Court Justice Jennifer G. Schecter and later transferred to Justice Andrew Borrok.
In their petition and accompanying brief, the FHVs alleged that the rule was arbitrary and capricious because “percentage of trips dispatched” is an inappropriate metric for measuring WAV availability, and that the TLC chose the 25 percent target arbitrarily, in haste, and without any analysis. One of the FHVs’ major concerns was that a pilot program, which was established on the same day as the rule to enable FHVs achieve the goal of increasing WAV access, could be revoked by the TLC at any time and would last only two years. Along with their petition, the FHVs submitted several expert opinions that examined the rule’s economics, feasibility, and likelihood of success. They sought a preliminary injunction, petitioned the court to vacate the rule, and sought attorneys’ fees.
In a memorandum opposing the plaintiff’s petition, submitted May 11, 2018, the TLC advanced an argument that the petition was barred by the doctrine of laches (undue delay resulting in prejudice to the opposing party). The committee also argued for the reasonability and rationality of the rule in question, disputed the findings of an expert report advanced by the FHVs, and asked the court to deny the request for a preliminary injunction.
On May 25, 2018, the court granted a motion to file an amicus brief from advocacy groups New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Mobilization for Justice, Inc
On June 8, 2018, the parties appeared in a hearing before the court in which they reached a preliminary settlement agreement formalized on June 13, 2018. The parties agreed that the TLC would amend the rule to make the pilot program permanent and formally adopt an exception to the rule that allowed FHVs to contract with an accessible vehicle dispatcher to provide WAVs to customers of any rideshare app, allowing them to meet the rule’s WAV availability goals collectively rather than each on its own. The settlement also added an additional year of service speed improvement requirements under the pilot program and added additional data reporting requirements. The TLC Board passed the amended rules on October 3, 2018, and the case is closed.
Terry Howard (12/17/2022)
Borrok, Andrew (New York)
Baden, Wayne L (New York)
Bebchick, Lisa H (New York)
Rearden, Jennifer H (New York)
Goldberg-Cahn, Michelle (New York)
Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:27 p.m.Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.
State / Territory: New York
Filing Date: April 12, 2018
Closing Date: Oct. 3, 2018
Case Ongoing: No
Six New York-based “for-hire vehicle” LLCs, on behalf of their parent companies Lyft, Uber, and Via.
Public Interest Lawyer: No
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Form of Settlement:
Disability and Disability Rights: