Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Judge denies request for limo fare injunction

by Duane W. Gang, The Tennessean, 4/11/2012

A federal judge has denied a request from a group of budget limousine companies to temporarily block Metro government from enforcing a $45-per-trip minimum fare.

In an 18-page opinion issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Kevin H. Sharp said the three budget limo and car-service companies did not prove a “substantial likelihood of success” that the minimum fare violated their constitutional rights. (link)
This is disappointing but this issue is not over. There is still a good chance that Metro's price-fixing of limousine services may be overturned. Back in January, the Court denied Metro's motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.  In that ruling, the opinion stated “Courts have repeatedly recognized that protecting a discrete interest group from economic competition is not a legitimate governmental purpose,” quoting Craigmiles v. Giles, a 2002 case that the Institute for Justice, the same public-interest law firm that is representing the victims of limo price-fixing,  won on behalf of casket retailers in Tennessee. The casket retailers in that case, like the affordable car services in this case, were being locked out of the marketplace by a cartel of well-connected individuals. The casket retailers won their case.

The problem with not granting the injunction against enforcing the $45-per-trip minimum fare however is that by the time the court rules on the merit of the case, the city, by forcing the economy limo companies to charge the minimum fare and by a use of police-state-like intimidation and harassment tactics may have driven the competition out of business. Justice delayed is often justice denied. We will have to wait and see.

For additional facts and commentary on this issue, follow this link

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1 comment:

  1. I always advise my friends to travel in limousine because I myself select this vehicle for comfortable journey.
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