No Free Rides: Finally, Inevitably: Muni Is Suing Muni

By sfweekly – excerpt

Wednesday, May 28 2014: You can add Muni management to the burgeoning list of people blindsided by Muni drivers.

Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court judge certified some 2,500 drivers — every man and woman who has slipped behind the wheel of a bus, train, trolley, or cable car since July 2009 — as a class in a federal suit against Muni. And, like Muni, that suit is moving forward with extreme slowness — and may cost the city an arm and a leg…

There’s a lot of money riding on this determination. Multiply the $50 daily penalty for violating the Minimum Wage Ordinance by five years worth of days and 2,500 workers. The total: $228 million. That’s a lot of cash. And a lot of leverage, if a settlement is in the offing… (more)

Ever wonder why your Muni bus is late? Who do you blame? The drivers blame management and are suing them. We are re-visiting this story to remind voters where Muni money goes. A large chunk goes to pay for management’s legal losses. In this case they are charged with failure to adhere to labor laws, but in many others they are charged with collecting on false tickets. More than 30% of all settlements San Francisco pays are attributed to SFMTA complaints.

RELATED:
Muni drivers in class action lawsuit against agency

SFMTA Spent $27 Million on Settlements Last Year

By: Victoria Holliday : resetsanfrancisco – excerpt

Reset research found that last year SFMTA spent $27 million on settling lawsuits levied against the MTA. These MTA settlements accounted for one-third of the $71 million total the city spent on settlements. The MTA had the most settlements of any single city department.

San Francisco Man Sues SFMTA for Improperly Towing His Ride

SFMTA could spend even more on settlements this year if the on-going class action lawsuit against it for improper tows is settled.

Riley got his refund, but he did not stop there. In 2010, he filed a class action lawsuit against the SFMTA for improperly towing his car based on a non-existing city statute. And with that, Riley is set to become a hero to frustrated San Francisco parkers.

The Class Action Lawsuit

The crux of Riley’s case is this: the city claims it has the right to haul off legally parked vehicles after 72 hours (residential parking permit or not) based on a state vehicle code, while Riley says they can’t because no such ordinance exists here in San Francisco. The SFMTA certainly has reason for towing cars after a certain period – nobody wants abandoned cars in their neighborhoods. But Riley’s lawsuit claims that there was no signage regarding the towing of cars with residential parking permits after 72 hours on the block where he parked. Even more, Riley contends no such sign exists anywhere in San Francisco. But that didn’t stop SFMTA from towing his vehicle and hitting Riley with $915 in tow fees.

Should Riley succeed, untold numbers of San Franciscans may be due a refund from the SFMTA. Given that our research shows SFMTA spent $68,000 on improper tow refunds last year alone, there is a pretty solid chance that the number could be substantial.

Stay tuned to follow this story… (more)

RELATED:
SF to study impacts of removing fees for retrieving towed stolen cars