Port Authority fined for refusing bus-trolley ads
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The Port Authority's refusal of a political advertisement in 2006 resulted in damages of just $1,889, but the agency also has been ordered to pay legal fees and costs of $344,117 under a federal judge's ruling released Friday.
The ruling by U.S. Judge Terrence F. McVerry comes in a lawsuit by the Pittsburgh League of Young Voters Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union. The two sued when the Port Authority turned down their ad aimed at educating ex-offenders on their voting rights.
The ACLU argued that the buses were public forums, and that by rejecting the ads, the Port Authority was discriminating against a specific viewpoint. The court ordered Port Authority to accept the ads, and found the modest amount of economic damages.
Port Authority appealed to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals but lost that bid last year.
Judge McVerry ruled that the reasonable cost of the legal work done on the case was $336,311, and the plaintiffs incurred $7,806 in costs. Port Authority, he wrote, must pay that in addition to the damages.
First Published February 28, 2012 12:05 am