Class Action Targets ‘Rogue’ Ride Shares

     ATLANTA (CN) – Uber and other ride-share companies are illegally operating as “unlicensed rogue taxicabs” in the state of Georgia, a class action filed by taxi medallion holders claims.
     The named plaintiffs in the case are Dmitriy Abramyan, Abdilahi Awale, Lenny Benuihis, Mohamed A. Hussein, and Dmity Mogilevich, all of whom drive taxis in the Atlanta area.
     In a complaint filed last week in Fulton County Superior Court, they complain the state and the Georgia Department of Public Safety are doing nothing to reign in a significant threat to their livelihoods.
     The plaintiffs say Uber, Lyft and other ride-share companies have “flooded the Atlanta market with thousands of vehicles for hire which charged customers metered fares based on distance and time, the same criteria used for taxicab fares.”
     The plaintiffs each own a city-issued tax medallion license called Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience. The CPNC medallions give the plaintiffs “exclusive rights to originate metered fares within the corporate limits of the City of Atlanta based on time and distance.”
     But in May, the state Legislature passed House Bill 225, which will allow ride-share companies like Uber to operate an unlimited amount of vehicles in Atlanta, ignoring the exclusivity of the CPNCs.
     “After the enactment of [HB 225] and its effective date,” the complaint says, “CPNC holders no longer have the exclusive right to originate metered fares based on time and mileage within the corporate limits of the City of Atlanta.”
     According to the complaint, lawmakers who sponsored the legislation “stated that it was their desire to ‘phase out’ CPNCs and make them worthless.”
     Furthermore, the bill’s enactment “constitutes an unconstitutional taking of vested property rights of Plaintiffs under the Georgia Constitution which provides that “private property shall not be taken or damaged for public purposes without just and adequate compensation being first paid.”
     The plaintiffs are represented by Atlanta-based attorneys William Pannell and Keith E. Fryer.
     Representatives for Uber and Lyft could not immediately be reached for comment.

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