Since its inception, mega company Uber has faced a large number of lawsuits. Last year alone, 60 lawsuits were filed against the company in federal court. During that same time period, competitor Lyft was sued less than a third as often, while wildly successful Airbnb was sued just five times. In fact, Uber has been sued more than any other United States start-up valued at over $10 billion. Uber has been hit litigation from both employees and customers.
Facing so much litigation, Uber is naturally trying to limit its liability and exposure. One legal method that Uber has long employed is insertion of an arbitration clause within the customer and driver agreement. For customers, Uber used to include a small mention to “Terms of Service” which set out an arbitration clause that required any claims against Uber to be resolved in arbitration. This clause severely limited the rights of injured passengers to seek proper redress in an impartial court of law. Under the arbitration clause, injured or aggrieved customers waive the right to have a jury trial or pursue litigation within the court system.
Over the summer, a Southern District of New York Judge ruled that Uber’s arbitration clause was not enforceable. Judge Rakoff found that the clause was too inconspicuous for the plaintiff to have used reason in agreeing to it. The clause was written in barely legible font and accessible only by hyperlink. Accordingly, Judge Rakoff found the clause should not bar the plaintiff from bringing suit in court.
In response to this ruling, and other litigation concerning driver arbitration, Uber has amended its terms of service. Effective November 21, 2016, an email went out to consumers containing the new arbitration clause and requiring that users who wish to reject the clause must provide Uber with written notice of such rejection within 30 days. The written notice can be mailed or hand delivered, or emailed from the email address associated with your account to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an Uber user, now is your time to act to protect your legal rights. Our Long Island car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP encourage you to submit a valid rejection of the arbitration clause quickly. The deadline to reject the clause is fast approaching. Arbitration comes at serious cost to customers of Uber. Injured customers generally receive far less in mandated arbitration than they would have by filing suit in court and lose their basic legal rights to a jury and appeal. For these reasons, Uber customers should take action. Customers with questions about how to protect themselves against Uber’s arbitration clause should contact our attorneys at Cohen & Jaffe as soon as possible.
Uber drivers have also been asked to accept the newly vamped arbitration clause, which will block class action lawsuits that have long proved successful for drivers subjected to abuses. Uber drivers should similarly research the arbitration clause and submit their written rejection within the deadline.
For help with protecting yourself against Uber’s arbitration clause, contact the experienced Long Island Accident Attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our dedicated attorney team has a track record of achieving outstanding results for our clients. We will work hard to obtain the best possible results in your case.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at (866) 878-6774 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you when you need it most.