New York City has swindled its residents of more than $2,000,000,000.00. ($2 BB)
Two billion dollars is about the amount NYC swindled from its malpractice of engineering. NYC's photo-enforcement operation is unlawful under New York State Education Law Title VIII, Article 145, Section 7202 and 7210. In order to install and operate these cameras legally, these camera systems must have installation plans that are certified by a licensed professional engineer (PE) who works for a firm that has a certificate of authority to practice engineering in New York. The installation plans are not certified. The firms producing the plans do not have a certificate of authority. The NYCDOT conceals these crimes.
Photo-enforcement camera installations are:
systems which affect the life, health, property and welfare of the public,
engineering works which modify a highway,
engineering works which depend on the correct application of math and physics of traffic signals, and
engineering works which depend on the correct application of math and physics for determining speed limits, including speed tolerances.
One cannot obtain a permit to build these systems without the certification of a licensed PE and engineering-certified firm: 19 CRR-NY 1203.3(a)(3)(i).
To play down the engineering requirements, city councilmen and camera operators describe their product as mere "cameras on a stick." That is far from the truth. A casual glance at an installation plan screams "engineering work." Boards of Engineers in New York, North Carolina, California and many other states have proclaimed red-light and speed-camera installations as engineering works.
We already knew that the installation plans in Nassau County and Suffolk County are not certified by a PE. (We have some of those plans.) In NYC, we do not know the name of the firm(s) or the plan drafters because the NYCDOT refuses to disclose its camera plans upon a FOIL request. The NYCDOT's non-disclosure itself is unlawful. Non-disclosure is an oxymoron in engineering practice. The whole purpose of engineering practice law is to hold engineers and firms accountable to the public. The NYCDOT gives a reason why it won't disclose the plans:
But the NYCDOT's response is a lie. We know from experience that when a city has the certified plans, it willingly discloses them. There is no reason for a city to hide the plans unless the plans are unlawful. We have also seen the NYCDOT's excuse elsewhere. We expect that governments that break the law claim that it is okay to break the law in order to enforce the law. We have seen such justification from New Orleans LA and Raleigh NC. While boards of engineers are usually more transparent with their rulings against unlawful practice of engineering, we have noticed that boards of engineers have been silenced in New York, Oregon, Hawaii, Louisiana and Colorado.
For the legal firm, taking on government for the biggest crime in history requires special legal talent. Your legal firm must know engineering law. Your legal firm must be confident in the basic principles of math and physics. Your legal firm must be aggressive and relentless. Your legal firm must have financial resources because you must take on individual PEs, local, county and state government, the state DOT, along with the big-money private camera companies who conspire together to make criminals for a profit.
Your legal firm must first sue professional engineers as individuals for their errors and omissions. Professional engineers are liable as individuals as well as liable as employees. Without these errors and omissions in traffic signal timing and speed studies, the photo-enforcement industry would not exist.
Your legal firm must be honest with itself. You must acknowledge that government itself is the crook and you are using the halls of government to argue your case. Government is not partial. City councilmen, city attorneys, attorney generals and judges are not partial. Boards of engineers will not exercise all their statutory obligations. Government and camera firm will make you work for every tidbit of information and block you at every step. They will make absurd motions like, "I motion to strike the laws of physics." You have to be prepared for crazy. Crazy indicates that you are onto them.
I recommend that you begin your case in federal court. The feds do not make money from this. The feds may not be partial. To justify federal scope, the camera firm usually resides outside the state.
To fund your class action, it is tempting to make the municipality a defendant and ignore the PE. The municipality has deep pockets; the PE does not. But without involving the PE, you will lose your case. The judge will decide in favor of the municipality using the municipality's argument, "Our municipality only did what our PEs allowed us to do." In court, finger-pointing games go on. Under state engineering law, culpability begins with the individual PE. You must grasp the full meaning that PEs tell their employers what to do, not the reverse. Professional engineers--individuals--are the final word in engineering matters, not their employers.
Name the city, county, state and DOT as defendants. If the board of engineers will not play ball with you, then you must also name the board in your suit. Governments have money. Camera firms have money. It is the government/camera-firm partnership that reaches into the pockets of your clients.
Know that according to State law, "all subdivisions of government must abide by engineering practice law". Know that there is a paragraph in the contract between city and camera firm that requires the camera firm to abide by state laws. Do not allow the DOT to claim sovereign immunity because under tort law, the DOT forfeits sovereign immunity when it partners with a private firm. (The DOT partners with the camera firm. The DOT operates the back-end of the camera system by tethering the private firm to the DOT's vehicle license and registration database.)
For the right law firm, there is a fortune to be made.
BTW, we have notified governments of photo-enforcement's conflicts with engineering law, and engineers of their math errors. They are not interested in fixing the engineering problems, for obvious financial incentives.