Taxi owners sue NYC over Uber, while court overrules class-action appeal
Wed 18 Nov 2015
Taxi owners in New York have filed a lawsuit against cab-hailing app giant Uber, citing damaged revenues and a hefty fall in value of NYC’s ‘medallion’ business.
The case against the city and its Taxi and Limousine Commission claims that the regulators have unfairly permitted Uber to steal away business from the regulated cab industry. Getting away without regulation has enabled Uber drivers to compete directly, and drown out official taxi companies.
The lawsuit is demanding compensation and punitive damages, to cover the loss brought about by falling medallion prices.
In September, a similar case was raised in Queens County, asking for an end to Uber’s expansion in the city, but this was dismissed by authorities.
A further lawsuit case hovering over Uber this week, is its request to immediately appeal an order approving class certification filed by its own drivers. The appeal was denied by a U.S. court yesterday.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, is expected to hear the suit proposed by Uber drivers that argue that they are employees, rather than contractors, and are therefore entitled to reimbursement for expenses, such as for petrol and car maintenance.
Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen decreed in San Francisco that all Californian drivers could sue as a group against Uber over this debate, as well as their demand for payment of tips that were not passed to them. However, those drivers who began working for the company after May 2014 need to specifically opt out of an arbitration agreement in order to sue Uber.
Uber attorney Theodore Boutrous wrote in a statement: “We look forward to presenting the facts about how drivers use Uber with complete flexibility and control over their work to a jury.”
Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney representing the plaintiff drivers, said that they were pleased with the decision of the 9th Circuit Court and was keen to focus on preparing for the trail next year.