PHILADELPHIA – The Commonwealth Court has vacated an injunction that prohibited transportation network companies (TNCs), including appellant Lyft Inc., from operating in the city of Philadelphia, according to an opinion entered on Oct. 31.
Lyft appealed a preliminary injunction “that declared TNC taxi service in the city of Philadelphia to be violative of the civil rights of riders with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance, enjoining such service in the city and directing the Philadelphia Parking Authority to ‘fully enforce under the law its party or group consents to additional passengers on the prearranged ride regulations with regard to TNC as unauthorized taxi service within the city of Philadelphia,’” the Commonwealth Court opinion said.
The preliminary injunction was issued by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County on Oct. 6, 2016.
The Commonwealth Court said it was vacating the preliminary injunction for Lyft “on the basis of intervening, remedial legislation.”
Specifically, the Commonwealth Court said “since the preliminary injunction was issued, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted a law, effective Nov. 4, 2016, dealing with issues that the injunction attempted to address.”
The law in question deals with licensing of TNCs and TNC drivers by the parking authority and addresses the rights of disabled persons, according to the opinion.
As a result, the Commonwealth Court said “the context for consideration of the need for a preliminary injunction has been altered by the TNC legislation.”
In Lyft's appeal, the Commonwealth Court said Lyft argued that it did not have a chance to attend a hearing on the injunction, thus violating its due process rights.
In addition, Lyft said the common pleas court did not have the proper jurisdiction to grant the preliminary injunction and that the injunction was issued, in part, based on a withdrawn portion of the original lawsuit requesting the injunction that was related to the rights of disabled individuals.
Lyft also argued that “administrative remedies had not been exhausted with respect to any purported violation of the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance prior to institution of the litigation,” the Commonwealth Court ruling said.