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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Hot Dog Vendors Say New York Owes Them

MANHATTAN (CN) - Nearly 200 hot dog vendors claim New York City failed to pay a $100,000 settlement of a 2007 lawsuit over bogus fines.

Mohammed Ali filed the class action New York Supreme Court on behalf of 188 hot dog vendors.

New York City began ticketing vendors in 2006 after it decided - without legislation - that the configurations of the vending carts were illegal, according to the original lawsuit in 2007.

The new complaint claims the parties agreed to a settlement on Nov. 23, 2011, which included a $100,000 payment to the vendors, and dismissal of all outstanding tickets in exchange for dismissal of the case.

But Ali claims: "In hindsight, it appears that even before the ink had dried on its letter to Justice [George J.] Silver informing him of the settlement agreement, the City was plotting to renegotiate the express terms to which it had agreed.

"Despite the unequivocal nature of the settlement agreement, the City took more than two months to prepare an initial draft of the stipulation of settlement. In that draft, which counsel for the vendor class received February 1, 2012, the City for the first time indicated that it wanted to impose restrictions on the amount of the total settlement any particular class member could receive and sought return of a portion of the settlement payment if any of the class members could not be located, among other previously undisclosed material terms."

The vendors balked at the changes and tried to hold the City to the original settlement, but Ali claims the money has not been paid and none of the outstanding tickets have been dismissed.

He wants the city ordered to abide by the settlement, pay the $100,000 and dismiss the tickets.

He is represented by Brian Kohn with Schulte, Roth and Zabel.

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