Stephen Prignano was recently interviewed and quoted by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly in connection with two articles discussing recent developments in civil litigation. In the first article, Stephen commented on a recent Rhode Island lawsuit filed by taxi cab companies seeking injunctions against the ride sharing service "Uber." Stephen commented that Uber does not fit neatly into any regulatory scheme designed to regulate transportation for hire. He also commented that the type of relief sought by the plaintiffs against Uber - an injunction requiring the State of Rhode Island to enforce taxi cab regulations against the ride sharing service - is not well suited for the court system. Stephen emphasized that the Uber ride sharing service is really an example of technology getting ahead of state statutes and regulations that were designed to regulate traditional taxi companies, and that courts were unlikely to substitute their judgment for that of state agencies who are responsible for enforcing their own regulations.
In a second article, Stephen commented on a recent decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston striking down a defendant's attempt to defeat class certification in a consumer class action. In that case, the court found that a defendant's mere offer of settlement was insufficient to "moot" the claim of the named class representative because the offer did not provide complete relief to the plaintiff. Stephen commented that the First Circuit has therefore "really thrown a wrench" into the ability of defendants to defeat class certification by "picking off" the claims of individual class representatives. As a result of this decision, Stephen said, it will be more difficult for defendants to defeat class actions in the First Circuit, which includes federal courts in Rhode Island.