ON-Lion Letter

In April, federal district-court judge Lynn Adelman ruled that a group of independent taxicab drivers may officially participate in a lawsuit filed by Joe Sanfelippo Cabs, Inc., and other existing cab companies.  The lawsuit threatens the City of Milwaukee with tens of millions of dollars of damages, after the city's Common Council voted to lift the cap on the number of taxi permits issued by the city.
 
Independent taxicab drivers Jatinder Cheema and Saad Malik have now joined in the current federal lawsuit to defend the ability of all taxi entrepreneurs to earn an honest living owning their own taxis in Milwaukee.  Cheema was also a plaintiff in the original lawsuit that resulted in the city's removal of the cap. 

The original suit was brought on behalf a group of drivers by the Institute for Justice (IJ) in Arlington, Va.  The drivers won and a state circuit-court judge ordered the city to eliminate the cap.  When the city did so, the companies then sued in federal court for damages.
 
In the federal case, Adelman ruled that the cab owner-drivers could intervene in the case, in part, because their interests are distinct from the city, which was originally sued.  "The City’s goal is to avoid paying damages while [the drivers] want to ensure that the City does not reinstate the permit cap," according to Adelman.

"This is another victory for taxicab freedom in Milwaukee," said Anthony Sanders, an attorney for IJ, which is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.  "We will continue to work to defeat the cab companies' desperate and baseless attempt to undermine the city's new law."
 
"For too long, these cab companies benefitted from a government-created monopoly at the public’s expense," IJ attorney Meagan Forbes added.  "There is no constitutional right to be free from competition."

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