More than 5,600 taxi and for-hire vehicle (FHV) drivers with arrests on their records claim New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) unjustly suspended their licenses as their criminal cases played out in court – and they are now seeking damages, advocates told The New York Post. The drivers’ suspensions – which occurred between 2003 and 2020 – were ultimately resolved, but only after months out of work and an arduous legal process, the cabbies said.
A federal judge ruled in 2019 that the TLC’s process for appealing license suspensions was unconstitutional because the agency declined to consider “evidence of a driver’s ongoing danger to health and public safety.” Now such evidence must be considered. Since then, the percentage of suspensions that get reversed has increased from virtually none to 65%, said Daniel Ackman, the lead attorney on the class-action suit.
“The suspensions have all been resolved by other means by now, but what they do have to do is pay damages to people that should not have been suspended at all, which to my mind is almost all of them,” Ackman said. “The TLC has no process for making anyone whole.”
For-hire advocates estimate over 20,000 drivers could be eligible for damages, which the judge, Richard Sullivan, now of the New York City-based Second Circuit Court of Appeals, has ordered to be adjudicated separately from the main lawsuit.
At least 5,600 plaintiffs in the class-action have signed up for hearings in Manhattan federal court to determine what, if any, monetary damages they are owed. Other drivers seeking to sign onto the suit must do so by Jan. 13.
Source: New York Post