ADRIANNE FOUTS AND EDWARD BENJAMIN OBTAIN VICTORY FOR THE CITY OF PORTLAND BEFORE THE FIRST CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS IN DISCRIMINATION CASE BROUGHT BY CAUCASIAN TAXI DRIVER
May 3, 2017
Adrianne Fouts and Edward Benjamin successfully defended the City of Portland in an appeal before the First Circuit Court of Appeals brought by a plaintiff challenging a Federal District Court decision in favor of the City. Before the District Court, the plaintiff, a Caucasian taxi driver, claimed the City's taxi permitting system that applies to taxis at the Portland Jetport is discriminatory and favors African immigrant drivers. The permits at issue allow taxi drivers to await fares from arriving passengers at the Jetport and were previously available to all City-licensed taxi drivers until they were capped due to overcrowding. The plaintiff had never held a Jetport permit, never applied for one before the cap was in place, and testified during his deposition that he was unsure that he would apply for a permit even if he could. The District Court agreed with arguments made by the City that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue because he failed to show a likelihood that he would apply for the permit in question even if applications were being accepted. Judgment was entered for the City and the plaintiff taxi driver appealed.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the plaintiff failed to show a likelihood that he would apply for a permit even if he could, and therefore failed to establish any harm, and affirmed the judgment in favor of the City.