2017 Rideshare Lawsuit Roundup: Will We Ever Get A Settlement Check?


Have you been questioning what’s happening with all the ridesharing lawsuits? We have been, too! Today, senior RSG contributor Christian Perea investigates all of the pending litigation towards Uber and Lyft, and provides us an replace about once we (may) see a decision – and potential payout. Did we miss something? Leave an replace within the feedback under.

If you’ve misplaced monitor of all the lawsuits piling up towards Uber (and others), then you’re not alone. There are quite a bit on the market, and a few are fairly critical. These instances typically take years to wind their methods by means of the courtroom system, and most of them haven’t even been found out but.

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I’ve sorted the most important lawsuits into two teams: lawsuits involving drivers (and attainable settlement checks) and lawsuits which have large implications for the rideshare business.

If you've lost track of all the ridesharing lawsuits, you're not alone! Today, Christian Perea summarizes where we are now and when you might see a check -

For all these fits in place I nonetheless haven’t gotten a examine…

Drivers ready for settlement checks…

The Ones Where Drivers Might Get A Settlement Check

I typically see drivers joke about what we’re all going to do with a $three.02 settlement examine from these employment lawsuits. Many drivers consider that after lawyer charges, the massive pool of drivers claiming a bit of the pie, and former expertise with random settlement checks, that they will finally see virtually nothing.

I don’t assume many will get an enormous windfall within the mail, however a whole lot of these settlements appear to assign bigger numbers to those that drove probably the most. If you’re a driver who has been driving for a yr or extra, or executed hundreds of journeys, you’ll in all probability get greater than $100.

For instance, the settlement for Lyft vs. Cotter is decided on some extent system that assigns factors by what number of hours a driver was logged onto Lyft. Part-time drivers ought to obtain one thing small, whereas those that drove full-time ought to see an honest chunk.

O’Connor vs Uber: Are Uber Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?

This is the employment lawsuit from Shannon Liss-Riordan’s regulation agency that the majority of us are accustomed to. We thought this was settled final yr once we wrote about it here. At the time, Uber agreed to settle the case for $100 million whereas making vital modifications in its insurance policies. The lawsuit applies to Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts.

Well, it seems that issues have since gotten much more difficult. In a separate ruling, the category certification and enforcement of Uber Arbitration clause for Uber drivers was referred to as into query, and that ended up weakening the claims by the O’Connor go well with. Uber is now interesting the settlement and certification of drivers as a category, putting the settlement in jeopardy.

What’s Next?

There can be an oral argument on September 17 round Uber’s attraction of the enforcement of their arbitration clause. We anticipate to see a ruling on the arbitration clause in late 2017 or early 2018. If the arbitration clause is dominated enforceable, then the settlement might be restricted to those that managed to “opt-out” of Uber’s arbitration clause (only a few).

If you did not opt-out of Uber’s arbitration clause and need to take part on this lawsuit, you’ll be able to nonetheless submit a person declare for arbitration by emailing uberlawsuit@llrlaw.com.

Cotter vs Lyft: Are Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors? (Lyft Edition)

This go well with is just like the O’Connor case. In reality, Shannon Liss-Riordan’s agency is concerned in comparable claims towards just about each on-demand startup. If you drive as an unbiased contractor, there’s in all probability a lawsuit powered by Lichten & Liss-Riordan claiming you’re owed extra as an worker.

The Lyft model of this lawsuit reached a settlement final yr, the place Lyft agreed pay out damages to drivers based mostly on how a lot they drove whereas additionally granting sure concessions to drivers round driver deactivation, acceptance charges, and different issues. The unique settlement of $12 million was rejected by the courtroom as a result of the the decide thought it was far too low. As a outcome, the lawyer agreed to scale back her charges, and Lyft agreed to boost their payout quantity to $27 million.

What’s Next?

Drivers can submit a declare here. This might be the go well with the place drivers are probably to get a settlement.

Razzak Vs. Juno USA: Juno Drivers Stiffed on Stock Options

Back in April, Juno was acquired by Gett for $250 million. Juno had beforehand promised drivers fairness in Juno within the type of Restricted Stock Units (RSU’s) that might be awarded based mostly on the variety of rides a driver gave. This was touted by Juno as a means that Juno deliberate to deal with drivers higher.

Except it didn’t, and the drivers ended up receiving pennies on the greenback for his or her RSU’s when Gett acquired Juno. Most drivers have been very sad about this and now some are looking for extra money in courtroom.

If this goes the best way of the drivers in NYC, it might end in an honest payout for Juno drivers in any case. I wouldn’t maintain my breath, although, as that is simply getting began and it’s questionable if Juno might even legally present the RSU’s to their drivers within the first place.

Uber Upfront Pricing Lawsuit: The One We Saw Coming

This go well with started lately because of Uber’s launch of Upfront Pricing. We have executed numerous research on upfront pricing and found that rideshare corporations can scoop up some fairly massive variations in fares from drivers. It was solely a matter of time till this occurred.

Example of Uber taking greater than 25% from a fare in LA.

Related Article: How Much Money Are Drivers Losing From Upfront Pricing?

Drivers on this go well with declare Uber owes them cash since Uber collected a better portion of the fare than their said fee to drivers (25% of fares). If this go well with will get traction, I might anticipate to ultimately see an identical one popup for Lyft in California as properly, since Lyft is doing one thing comparable.

This go well with continues to be in its earliest levels, so I wouldn’t anticipate to listen to something from it for some time. Further, I feel that Uber and Lyft possible protected themselves from this type of factor by altering their phrases of service once they carried out Upfront Pricing. On prime of that, if Uber drivers fail to stay licensed as a category and the arbitration settlement stay enforceable, than that poses numerous hassle for fits towards Uber.

Lawsuits With Big Implications For Ride-Hailing

There are different lawsuits that declare corporations like Uber did some fairly dangerous issues. They present how the business is ruthless and the way far some corporations (particularly Uber) are prepared to go with a purpose to get a leg-up on their competitors.

Jane Doe vs. Uber: The Worst Thing Ever?

Uber’s President of Business in Asia, Eric Alexander traveled to India and “obtained” the medical data of a 26-year-old sufferer who was raped and assaulted by her Uber driver. He then returned with these data and confirmed them to CEO Travis Kalanick and Senior Vice President Emil Michael. Instead of them saying one thing smart like “WTH is WRONG with you ERIC? Go clear out your desk!” they seen the report and let him maintain on to it for some time.

Uber thought their rivals in India may need been planting a pretend story to realize an edge on Uber by getting them banned. Either method, now the sufferer is suing Uber for apparent causes.

Wheelchair Access Vehicles // ADA Compliance Lawsuits

There are numerous lawsuits towards Uber and Lyft in virtually each state that declare Uber and Lyft are failing to adjust to ADA by not accepting service animals or offering any Wheelchair Access Vehicles. This is necessary as a result of cab corporations have lengthy been required to take care of a smaller fleet of WAV automobiles and are particularly educated to adjust to ADA.

To Uber’s credit score, in a number of US markets they’ve built-in WAV, ASSIST, and different choices by way of their app. They nonetheless have an extended option to go on this, although, as a result of there’s often a restricted provide of Uber WAV and ASSIST automobiles. Lyft, however, has made extra of an effort to accommodate service animals by speaking to drivers that they’re required by regulation to simply accept a service animal.

Both corporations nonetheless haven’t found out ADA in a method that’s significant for many who have a incapacity. While the businesses appear to be making an attempt, it doesn’t change the truth that an individual in a wheelchair goes to have a troublesome time calling an Uber or a Lyft.

Waymo Vs Uber: The Existential Threat

Perhaps the most important menace to Uber proper now’s the case filed by Waymo (aka Google) round Uber poaching some prime expertise from them. Waymo alleges that Anthony Lewandowski stole a bunch of commerce secrets and techniques and colluded with Uber to go away Waymo and located Otto (an autonomous trucking startup), then hand over the commerce secrets and techniques by way of an acquisition of Otto. Uber denies having any information of the stolen commerce secrets and techniques.

Uber has identified that creating autonomous automobiles is an existential actuality for them. If the Waymo go well with goes the mistaken method for them, then Uber might have a serious roadblock put in place with regards to constructing their fleet of AV’s. This in flip might delay the inevitable robotic revolution that may get rid of Uber driver-humans.

At first, Uber stated they didn’t know, however issues are getting just a little extra murky as the method goes on. Lewandowsi appears to be refusing to cooperate with the courts and was fired by Uber a couple of months in the past.

So Many Lawsuits…

There are many, many extra lawsuits and even when we solely wrote about half of them, I wouldn’t be capable of sort quick sufficient to maintain up with the speed at which they’re filed.  But the primary ones that contain drivers are on the worker vs unbiased contractor difficulty.

One certainty although is that the rideshare and on-demand service business goes to make use of a big military of legal professionals. There is the massive military of attorneys employed by the businesses (Uber/Lyft), and a big military of legal professionals going towards them.

TNCs are new and principally constructed on the premise that “old transportation laws are bad and wildly inefficient.” Combine that premise with the “winner takes all” mindset of tech/Silicon Valley and a startup tradition that emphasizes “stepping on feet” and the top result’s a variety of indignant individuals with legal professionals.

Did I miss any huge fits? Sounds off under!

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-Christian @ RSG

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In 2014, Christian left his job at a psychological well being middle to drive full time for Lyft and Uber. Since then, he has pushed for principally Lyft with a bit of little bit of Sidecar and Postmates thrown in for experimentation and Uber when he does not really feel like speaking to individuals. He likes to speak about Politics and Economics over an excellent beer to whoever will take heed to him.

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