The Chicago Sun Times recently published a story that outlined the complexity of the ownership of Chicago cab companies and how it has limited insurance coverage on cab accidents. There are three layers of entities for cabs, including: the cab driver, who typically pays a lease fee for the use of the cab. Then there’s the owner of the cab license, known as a medallion; a management company that manages multiple medallions, and an affiliation company, which supplies the cab’s colors and radio dispatch service.
Due to the different layers of ownership, management and usage, passengers or pedestrians injured in a cab accident could be limited to $350,000 in damages, regardless of the severity of damages.
The current system can be bewilderingly complex. For example, while Symon Garber claims to run Chicago’s biggest taxicab empire, it’s actually a web of dozens of companies, including Chicago Carriage and Royal 3 CCC Taxi Association; the management company Chicago Elite Cab, and multiple small companies with names like “Playing Polo in Chicago,” which actually own the medallions.
In order to benefit from the insurance coverage from the medallion and management companies, a plaintiff must show that the cab driver was an agent of those entities at the time of the accident.
This is incredibly vexing for plaintiffs that are severely injured due to a cab driver’s negligence. I would like to see some legislation introduced to help solve this growing problem.
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