Saturday, March 10, 2018
Friday, March 09, 2018
A U.S. District Court judge has just handed some Uber drivers a win by concluding the ride-hailing company breached a contract pertaining to “Safe Rides” fees. In U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers’ opinion on damages, she wrote “there is no question that drivers were financially harmed by Uber’s breach of contract.”
The lead plaintiffs, Matthew Clark, Ryan Cowden, Dominicus Rooijackers and Jason Rosenberg, sued Uber for $5 million in 2016 on behalf of 9,602 drivers who opted out of arbitration. However, the exact extent of the damages has not yet been determined.
The plaintiffs alleged Uber, despite saying it wouldn’t, took the “Safe Rides Fees” from the fares drivers charged riders on minimum fare rides between April 2014 and November 2015. The plaintiffs specifically alleged Uber breached its contract with drivers.
In her order yesterday, Rogers granted the drivers’ motion for summary judgment, saying, “Nothing in the Agreement provides a formula for Uber to deduct $1.00 from the Minimum Fare and then deduct another 20% from the balance. The fact that Uber chose not to follow the precise terms of the Agreement for the 19 months of the class period and is now attempting to rationalize its conduct is not relevant to the instant claim.”
She added, by Uber taking out the $1 Safe Ride fee from the minimum fair before paying drivers, the company “breached the plain terms of the Agreement.”
Judge Rogers also ruled all Uber drivers who signed a 2013, June 2014 or November 2014 agreement — or some combination of three — opted out of arbitration, and completed at least one minimum fare ride for UberX when the Safe Rides Fee applied before Nov. 16, 2015 are eligible to be part of the class.
Uber first added the $1 safe ride fee in April 2014 to help pay for its safety program, which includes driver training, background checks and vehicle inspections. But it wasn’t until November 16, 2015, the lawsuit alleges, that Uber updated its terms to notify drivers the fee would be taken from their minimum fares.
Here’s a key nugget from the original complaint:
After instituting the Safe Rides program, Uber’s Service Fee Schedules and published local fare webpages continued to show the fares that riders would pay, including a minimum fare, for each area. Consistent with its contract and its emails to drivers, those schedules and fare webpages also showed the new Safe Rides Fee as a separate surcharge for riders. Until approximately November 2015, nothing in Uber’s contract, schedules, emails, or fare webpages suggested that drivers would pay Uber’s Safe Rides Fee out of the driver’s own fares.
Despite the clear terms of its written contracts including Uber’s incorporated emailed promises that it would not do so — Uber took its Safe Rides Fee charges out of the drivers’ fares when drivers charged riders minimum fares. In other words, when a driver provided a minimum fare ride, Uber did not charge the Safe Rides Fees to the riders (as a separate surcharge), but, instead, charged that fee to the drivers by taking it from their fare.
This win for drivers comes a couple of years after Uber settled with riders over the Safe Rides fee. In 2016, Uber made a $28.5 million settlement with riders, who alleged in a class-action lawsuit that they should not have had to pay the fee because the company’s background checks were misleading and not “industry leading,” as Uber had previously claimed. The lawsuits also cited “unfortunate incidents” that had happened to passengers during Uber rides.
I’ve reached out to Uber and will update this story if I hear back.
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Thursday, March 08, 2018
A 72-year-old Taxi driver who crashed into an oncoming motorbike sending the pillion passenger “somersaulting” through the air before she died was consoled by her family as he was spared jail.
Jerome Lee had picked up a family and was dropping them to their home on Farringdon Road, London, at around 8.45pm on February 21, last year.
As he made a u-turn near the junction with Clerkenwell Road, Lee swung into the path of an oncoming, speeding Ducati motorcycle, the Old Bailey was told on Monday.
Rider Shaun Hoffman was thrown to the ground and survived. But his passenger, Claire Berretti, was thrown a “considerable distance” and suffered catastrophic head injuries.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, jurors heard.
Lee was found guilty on Thursday by a majority of 10-2 of causing death by careless driving and sentenced to a 12-month community order with an unpaid work requirement of 60 hours.
He was also ordered to pay £200 in costs, carry out 10 hours of rehabilitation and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Ms Berretti’s family hugged and consoled Lee as he sobbed after being sentenced.
The trial heard mother-of-two Jessenia Gonzalez was in the back of Lee’s silver taxi with her children and husband at the time of the crash.
In a statement read to the court she said that before starting the turn, Lee moved his head as if checking for traffic.
Describing the collision, she added: “There was a screeching of brakes and a loud crunch, and I knew right away that we had hit something.
“[I remember] seeing the girl somersaulting through the air like a gymnast.
“She flew so high through the air, turning and then landing.”
Opening the case prosecutor Joel Smith told jurors: “At the time that the defendant decided to turn around and perform a u-turn, a red Ducati motorcycle was travelling in the other direction nearby, up the Farringdon Road.
“The traffic lights at the junction were staggered. At the time that the defendant performed the manoeuvre the traffic lights at the junction were showing red to him – southbound traffic, but green to northbound traffic.
“Given what was said by the defendant at the scene, it appears he erroneously assumed that they were showing red in both directions, and that he would be able to conduct a u-turn without running into oncoming traffic.
“He was wrong – the prosecution say he was careless.”
Jurors heard Mr Hoffman was riding at 40mph, twice the speed limit, and that he was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to speeding.
Lee, from Edgware, north west London, had denied one count of causing death by careless driving.
Source : Daily Echo
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Tuesday, March 06, 2018
Monday, March 05, 2018
Sunday, March 04, 2018
An Uber car has crashed into the gate of Buckingham Palace in the early hours of Sunday Morning.
The incident took place a little before 12:30 a.m. local time, Sunday (7:30 p.m. EST, Saturday). Images of the aftermath of the incident show Police at the scene standing in front of anyone filming or taking photos.
According to initial reports, the car in question appeared to be an Uber and the crash is being treated as an isolated vehicular accident. It is not being looked at as a deliberate act of violence or a terrorist attack (there's a surprise)
"So scary. Loads of police here. Being told to move back by the police,” said Mathew Vincent, who witnessed the scene. "Police were stopping anyone trying to video the scene".
It's not immediately known how many members of the royal family were present at the palace at the time of the attack. Also, it is yet to be determined if the police have apprehended the driver of the car.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
Looks like we could see another cover up of TfL stakeholder Uber. It's already gone from most all UK news channels.
It's been alleged by our insider, that top TfL staff were called in early this morning, to discuss the incident.
Last October, we saw an Uber driver mow down pedestrians on Exhibition Road.
Although eleven members of the public were taken to hospital, the story was killed in the press within hours.
CAN YOU IMAGINE THE NEWS COVERAGE THIS INCIDENT WOULD HAVE RECIEVED, HAD IT BEEN A LONDON TAXI???
This is the second time a car has driven into gates at Buckingham Palace. Back in January 1995, a Volkswagen Sirocco smash through the gates.