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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Public Bus Agency|Isn’t Immune to Suit

(CN) Philadelphia's regional transportation authority is not entitled to sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment, the 3rd Circuit ruled.

Bus driver Allison Cooper brought a class-action against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, claiming that SEPTA did not compensate bus drivers for their required pre-trip safety inspection.

The district court halted trial to allow the 3rd Circuit to determine whether SEPTA is protected by sovereign immunity.

SEPTA claimed the Supreme Court has changed its interpretation of the sovereign immunity rule to allow a state to determine whether an agency is an official arm of the state, which would trigger immunity.

"Most importantly, the Commonwealth is not legally obligated to provide funds to satisfy a judgment against SEPTA," Judge Scirica ruled.

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