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PA. COACH LINES, INC. v. PORT AUTH. OF ALLEGHENY C

December 12, 1994

PA. COACH LINES, INC., d/b/a Airport Limousine Service, Inc., and Checker Service Company, Plaintiff,
v.
PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALAN N. BLOCH

 BLOCH, District J.

 Presently before this Court are cross-motions for summary judgment filed by plaintiff and defendant pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, this Court will grant defendant's motion and will deny plaintiff's motion.

 I. Factual background

 Defendant, Port Authority of Allegheny County, is a governmental agency that regulates the transportation of passengers for hire in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff, a Pennsylvania corporation engaged in the business of providing airport transfer services, is regulated by defendant. Since the early 1980's, defendant has granted plaintiff the authority to provide transportation services between various locations in suburban Allegheny County and the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport (Airport).

 In 1988, defendant allegedly granted another carrier, Airlines Transportation Company (Airlines), the exclusive right to provide scheduled airport transfer services between hotels in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Airport. Defendant claims to have entered into the ten-year exclusive agreement in order to settle a legal dispute with Airlines.

 Plaintiff asserts that, like Airlines, plaintiff had been the only carrier with authority to provide airport transfer services between certain locations and the Airport. On October 22, 1993, however, defendant adopted a resolution that broadened the number of carriers that could provide airport transportation services in "plaintiff's territory" but did not affect Airlines' exclusive right to provide transportation services.

 Plaintiff filed the instant action against defendant as a result of defendant's October resolution. Plaintiff's complaint asserts defendant's refusal to permit plaintiff and other carriers to operate in Airlines' territory constitutes a violation of Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution (the Commerce Clause), 15 U.S.C. ┬ž 1 (the Sherman Anti-Trust Act), and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

 II. Defendant's motion for summary judgment

 Defendant has filed a motion for summary judgment with respect to all of plaintiff's claims. Defendant asserts numerous legal arguments in support of its motion, and the arguments that have influenced this Court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of defendant will be discussed below. *fn1"

 A. Legal standard

 This Court may grant summary judgment only when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that the evidence creates no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Chipollini v. Spencer Gifts, Inc., 814 F.2d 893, 896 (3d Cir.) (en banc), cert. dismissed, 483 U.S. 1052 (1987). Further, when considering a motion for summary judgment, this Court must examine the facts in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. International Raw Materials, Ltd. v. Stauffer Chemical Co., 898 F.2d 946, 949 (3d Cir. 1990).

 B. Plaintiff's Commerce Clause claim

 Defendant asserts that it is entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff's Commerce Clause claim because defendant's resolution does not discriminate against interstate commerce in favor of intrastate commerce. (Defendant's brief in support of motion for summary judgment, at 9). Plaintiff contends, however, that defendant's resolution protecting Airlines' exclusive right to provide airport transportation services "constitutes a discriminatory burden [upon interstate commerce] on its face." (Plaintiff's reply memorandum in support of summary judgment, at 5). Plaintiff argues that defendant intentionally favored ...


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