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MAZANDERAN v. INDEPENDENT TAXI OWNERS' ASSN.

November 17, 1988

ROUZBEH E. MAZANDERAN, Plaintiff,
v.
INDEPENDENT TAXI OWNERS' ASSOCIATION, INC., et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HARRIS

 STANLEY S. HARRIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 This matter is before the Court on defendants' motions for summary judgment, or in the alternative, to dismiss. *fn1" For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motions are granted in part and denied in part.

 Background

 Plaintiff, at the time he brought this complaint, was a member of defendant Independent Taxi Owners' Association, Inc. (hereinafter "ITOA"). *fn2" Plaintiff alleges that ITOA is a nonprofit cooperative association existing under the laws of the District of Columbia, although ITOA itself counters that it is a nonprofit Delaware corporation conducting business in the District. The parties agree that ITOA is a voluntary membership organization of independent taxicab owners and operators.

 ITOA membership is divided into three categories of active members: full, limited, or associate. *fn3" Only full members are entitled to vote; they are also entitled to own and operate up to sixty cabs. Limited members may own and operate up to twenty cabs. Associate members are permitted only one cab, which they must personally drive.

 ITOA membership has two principal benefits. First, it allows members to use the ITOA insignia on their cabs. ITOA is generally known to the public as "Diamond Cab," and the "Diamond Cab" logo is a fairly recognizable one. Second, ITOA members share a radio dispatch service. This service, which communicates requests for cabs to drivers, is necessary in order to compete effectively.

 ITOA members must contribute to an insurance sinking fund. *fn4" ITOA by-laws further require members to purchase gasoline and certain other supplies through ITOA:

 
. . . every member . . . shall, during the lifetime of his membership, purchase all gasoline, oil, greases and supplies used in the operation of his taxicab business through the Independent Taxi Owners Association, Incorporated, or such agencies as it may by order direct, for not more than legitimate market prices which prevail at competitive stations . . . .

 By-Laws of Independent Taxi Owners' Association, Incorporated, Article XIX, Section 1. Membership dues to ITOA cover administrative expenses, life insurance, and a claims department.

 Plaintiff alleges that defendants have violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, by restraining competition among members, by requiring members to purchase liability insurance and supplies through ITOA, by restricting the use of radio dispatch facilities for the benefit of full members, and by only permitting full members to vote. Plaintiff further alleges that defendants have restrained trade in violation of D.C. Code § 28-4502 (1981). Plaintiff also asserts a claim that defendants have engaged in unlawful trade practices, a violation of D.C. Code § 28-3904 (1981). Finally, in his supplemental complaint, plaintiff contends that procedures used in his expulsion from ITOA in May 1987 violated D.C. Code § 29-1130 (1981). He also contends that ITOA's board of directors, as well as other full members, instructed limited members to boycott any attempts by plaintiff to rent a cab as an individual driver in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, an order directing ITOA to surrender its certificate of authority to do business in the District of Columbia, and treble damages and attorneys' fees pursuant to Section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15.

 Discussion

 Antitrust Claims

 Section 4 of the Clayton Act confers the right to bring a private antitrust action to "any person who shall be injured in his business or property by reason of anything forbidden in the antitrust laws . . . ." 15 U.S.C. § 15. Although couched in broad language, this section sets forth crucial standing requirements. Of especial importance is the two-fold requirement of individual economic injury to plaintiff that is grounded in the antitrust laws. See Brunswick Corp. v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, 429 U.S. 477, 490, 50 L. Ed. 2d 701, 97 S. Ct. 690 (1977) ("Plaintiffs must prove antitrust injury, which is to say injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent and that flows from that which makes defendants' acts unlawful."); Hecht v. Pro-Football, Inc., 187 U.S. App. D.C. 73, 570 F.2d 982, 987 (D.C. Cir. 1977) ("Plaintiff must show ...


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