New Yorkers: Let’s Sue the Transit Workers Union!

I’m not sure of the legal precedent for this sort of thing, but it would be nice to see a class action lawsuit filed against the Transit Workers Union on behalf of millions of New York commuters and business owners who have been affected by the strike. The economic damages as a result of the strike could be as high as $660 million per day according to New York’s Economic Development Corporation. There is the lost productivity as a result of people being late to work or missing work altogether and lost retail sales during the busy Christmas shopping season. Also, there are additional costs incurred by subway or bus commuters who are forced to shell out money for cabs or car services and some businesses who have rented shuttle buses for employees. Surely an enterprising lawyer can dig up claimants who suffered injuries after being forced to take a four hour walk home. Trial lawyers find a way to sue everybody under the sun, surely there must be some way to sue the TWU for this premeditated, malicious and illegal act of economic sabotage. The union won’t be able to pay all of the claims coming from such a lawsuit, but maybe they’d be forced into bankruptcy like manufacturers who are the targets of asbestos litigation. That would be a just punishment as well as a warning to other public unions who are contemplating illegal strikes.

3 thoughts on “New Yorkers: Let’s Sue the Transit Workers Union!”

  1. I’m pretty sure this would be impossible, though I haven’t researched every angle of this. As a common law tort action, I don’t think transit workers owe any duty to New York citizens to report to work. This duty comes from the Taylor Law (NY Civil Service Law, Article 14, Ã?Â?Ã?§ 210), which clearly does not provide for a private cause of action. And I’m pretty sure the statute would preempt the common law tort action. The only other cause of action I can think of is intentional inteference with contractual relations, but this also seems like a stretch.

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/nycodes/c18/a33.html

  2. That’s why the ideal recourse would have been to fire, or threaten to fire them. I’d like to know if the city could have simply declared the union in violation of the law and thus no longer recognized by the city.

    I’d be really pissed at Bloomberg if I were still living there (well, I’m pissed enough as it is). This is PRECISELY the type situation that was supposed be the great benefit of having a mayor who’s rich enough to be free from special interests. For all this arrogance on other issues I can’t believe he would not have gone above and beyond to crush this thing.

    How about coming straight out and declaring the union invalid, telling workers they have a choice between their rouge union and their jobs, and then declaring that the city will simply not issue paychecks for the deadbeats who don’t show. What will they say? He doesn’t have the authority? Fine, then they can take the issue to court – but find a new job in the meantime. Meanwhile, I’m the mayor of this city and I’m doing what needs to be done. It’s a safety issue…like second hand smoke.

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