There is an interesting controversy out of New York (where so many interesting controversies can be found). In this case, taxi driver and comedian Jimmy Failla has been filming the reaction of passengers when they encounter his 10-foot albino python in the backseat. He calls the video below “Snakes in a Cab,” which he hopes to draw attention to a forthcoming book. While he says that he is not afraid of liability, he should be. This could easily turn into Torts In A Taxi.”
This is not Failla cab. He rents it from a medallion owner. He has said that he is not concerned about liability because everyone signed a consent and waiver form. However, while such forms are enforceable, he is taking quite a risk. Generally, post hoc waivers are a dangerous game. Someone could have a heart attack or have a pre-existing phobia with regard to snakes. You take your victims as you find them and this appears not just negligence but an intentional infliction of emotional distress to put someone into a close cab with a massive snake.
Indeed, this is likely negligence per se since taxi regulations clearly would prohibit non-service animals.
For the Taxi and Limousine Commission it is a very serious breach. The last thing that the Commission wants is for passengers to add a fear of pranks or snakes or snake pranks to the other risks that occupy the mind of a typical New Yorker.
In one video, Failla yells at a panicked woman that “You should have told me you didn’t like snakes!” Failla says to her.” Of course, legally he should have told her that he is not a real taxi driver.
Of course, PETA also fails to see the humor.
Source: ABA Journal