Justia U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Transportation Law
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Plaintiffs filed a qui tam action against DHL under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq., alleging that DHL billed the United States jet-fuel surcharges on shipments that were transported exclusively by ground transportation. On appeal, plaintiffs challenged the district court's dismissal for failure to satisfy a statutory notice requirement. The court concluded that the 180-day rule, which barred a challenge to a shipping charge before the STB, could not apply to a qui tam action under the FCA. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded. View "United States v. DHL Express (USA), Inc." on Justia Law

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After plaintiff was involved in a verbal altercation with Defendant Leifer, Leifer used plaintiff's license plate number to obtain the name and home address of plaintiff. Leifer then embarked on a campaign to harass plaintiff and his family. Plaintiff filed suit under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2721-2725, against Leifer and the entities and individuals who obtained the information from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and released it to Leifer. The court held that Defendant Resellers were not strictly liable for Leifer's improper use of plaintiff's personal information because neither the text nor the legislative history of the Act supported a reading of a strict liability standard into the Act; while Defendant Softech disclosed plaintiff's personal information for a permitted use, a material question of fact existed as to the propriety of the disclosure; the Act imposed a duty on resellers to exercise reasonable care in responding to requests for personal information drawn from motor vehicle records; nothing in the record suggested that, in complying with the information request, Softech acted unreasonably; and a reasonable jury could find that Arcanum failed to exercise reasonable care when it disclosed plaintiff's personal information to Leifer. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court to the extent it granted summary judgment in favor of Softech and Rodriquez, vacated the judgment to the extent it granted summary judgment in favor of Arcanum and Cohn on plaintiff's claims under the Act, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Gordon v. Softech Int'l, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff and his former employers (collectively, the "MTA") dispute whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction to hear an appeal from a decision of a special adjustment board. At issue was whether a party waived a challenge to the jurisdiction of a special adjustment board by explicitly conceding before the board that the board had jurisdiction. The court affirmed under these circumstances, holding that plaintiff conceded the Board's jurisdiction in his submission to the Board and the court declined to consider his waived jurisdictional challenge. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Sokolwski v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a seaman, contracted lymphoma and sued his former employer, a tugboat operator, seeking maintenance and cure. The doctrine of maintenance and cure concerns the vessel owner’s obligation to provide food, lodging, and medical services to a seaman injured while serving the ship. Undisputed evidence established that the seaman had lymphoma during his maritime service, but the disease did not present any symptoms at all until after his service. The district court granted summary judgment for the tugboat operator. The Second Circuit reversed. Because the seaman’s illness indisputably occurred during his service, he is entitled to maintenance and cure regardless of when he began to show symptoms. View "Messier v. Bouchard Transp." on Justia Law

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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

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The New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) appealed from an order of the district court enjoining the enforcement of an NYCTA policy requiring third parties to obtain the consent of those contesting notices of violations before NYCTA's Transit Adjudication Bureau in order to observe such hearings. At issue was whether the public had a right to access these proceedings. The court held that the First Amendment guaranteed the public a presumptive right of access to the NYCTA's adjudicatory proceedings and that the NYCTA had not overcome that presumption.

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Plaintiffs sued defendants, Nassau County, New York and/or MTA Long Island Bus ("MTA"), asserting claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 701 et seq., where the gravamen of the lawsuits was that defendants implemented substantial reductions in paratransit services without allowing for the public participation of users of the services required by the ADA regulations and failed to make reasonable modifications to existing services so as to ameliorate the effect of the service reductions. At issue was whether the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs' cases on the grounds that the regulations did not apply to the service cuts in question and that the Department of Justice's ("DOJ") reasonable modifications requirement did not apply to paratransit services. The court held that 49 C.F.R. 37.137(c) of the ADA could not be enforced in a private right of action based on 49 C.F.R. 12143 where the failure to permit public participation did not constitute discrimination under section 12143. The court also read section 12134 to mean that the DOJ's reasonable modifications regulations did not apply to public entities providing paratransit services outside the ADA service area. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' cases.