Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2016 at 11:35 am
San-Francisco based ride hailing company is facing another class lawsuit as its drivers filed a case on grounds that they have been misclassified as an independent contractor. Aside from driver status, the lawsuit also questions Uber’s practice of telling passengers that gratuity is already included and not to tip drivers.
This new case includes all Uber drivers not located in Massachussets and California. Both states have recently reached a settlement with Uber worth $84 million. The new lawsuit was filed by Lorri Trosper, an Uber driver. The new claim alleges that Uber misclassified drivers as independent contractors, did not pay overtime wages and compensation, owes expenses reimbursement , and did not turn over gratuities.
The first two cases were filed in California and Massachusetts in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Aside from settlement, Uber will also initiate several changes in its driver discipline policy. Now, the company can not just deactivate drivers’ account at its own volition. In addition, Uber will issue warnings to drivers to give them a chance to correct any issues before being cut from the service. Aside from that, Uber will no longer deactivate the account of drivers who frequently turn down rides.
The settlement still requires the approval of Judge Edward Chen of the District Court of Northern California. A spokeswoman from Uber revealed that it will probably take several months before it is approved. If approved the settlement amount will be distributed among drivers in the two states.
Valued at $62.5 billion, Uber has been using independent contractors to shuttle passengers to their destinations. For this reason, the company keeps itself from paying a wide range of benefits such as health insurance, Social Security, overtime, or sick leaves. Representing the drivers is Shannon Liss-Riordan who brought up the case against Uber and 11 other on-demand companies.
Given this scenario, it is unlikely that Uber drivers will be treated as employees. Uber has been arguing that drivers cannot be considered employees because they set their own working hours. On the other hand, the plaintiffs argue that since Uber has control of fares and perfomance standards, they should be classified as employees and hence eligible for perks.
The trial will begin on June 20, 2016 and will last for 5 weeks.
Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2015 at 2:18 pm
Air France has filed a lawsuit of reckless endangerment, following its fourth bomb hoax in recent weeks—a flight bound for Paris had a fake bomb that then forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing at Kenya.
France has been on red alert from potential terrorists, following the attacks during the 13th of November 2015 when an extremist terrorist group staged suicide bombers and shooters at various places in Paris, killing 130 people and causing injury to almost 400 more people. It is due to this that upon seeing the fake bomb – made of cardboard, sheets of paper, and a run of the mill timer (according reports from the Associated Press) – the crew acted immediately and made the emergency landing.
However, this has been the fourth fake bomb since the mass shootings and all areas must be taken into consideration.
Air France spokeswoman, Uli Gendrot, reported that the lawsuit had “no particular perpetrator” in mind but the lawsuit allows for an investigation regarding the faux bombs. Six passengers on board, including the one who tipped them off, were questioned for the hoax.
Nearly 500 people were evacuated from the flight and they were tearfully met by loved ones once again upon landing on Parisian soil.
Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 11:09 am
In the early morning of March 28, nineteen California taxi companies filed a lawsuit against the popular car-sharing service app Uber. This comes directly on the tail of similar lawsuits that have been filed by taxi firms and other for-hire drivers all over the United States, which includes a class action suit that’s currently pending in Florida. In all these cases, the plaintiffs emphasize that Uber is endangering the lives of their passengers through deceptive claims about the safety of their services.
The California lawsuit, in particular, cites ‘false and misleading advertising’ used by Uber Technologies for their UberX platforms. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the ads promote the new platform as “the safest rides on the road” and “safer than a taxi”. The plaintiffs, including cab companies from San Diego, Palm Springs, and San Francisco, claim such statements lead passengers to a false sense of security even when Uber drivers aren’t subjected to background checks and other safety regulations.
The nineteen California cab companies also emphasize that Uber’s misleading ads have inadvertently created unfair competition. The plaintiffs claim that the deceptive UberX ads have caused financial and reputational harm to their services. As the lawsuit claims, Uber’s exaggerated safety claims “spurn plaintiff’s taxi cabs for UberX rides, resulting in lost revenue for plaintiffs.”
Should the lawsuit face trial, a jury will end up determining a specific amount to be awarded for the damages that the plaintiffs are seeking. Eve Behrend, spokesperson to Uber, responded to the lawsuit by saying that it was “frivolous” and “without merit”.
Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2014 at 3:01 pm
Popular energy drink is under fire for failing to live up to its slogan, which was “Red Bull gives you wings.”
Austria-based Red Bull GmbH which manufacture and market the energy drink Red Bull agreed to pay all U.S. claimants that purchased the drink from 2002 between $10-15 as compensation for alleged false advertising. It could be argued that the slogan was merely an exaggeration and not meant to be taken literally.
The idea that those who drink the product expected to actually develop wings may seem far-fetched. From a legal point of view, apparently, the claim had merit because the case was successfully certified for class action.
Whether the courts would continue to look favorably on the claimants’ stand will never be known though. Red Bull decided to agree to a $13 million settlement, half of which is slated for the estimated 1.4 million people who may make a claim rather than go through the litigation process although they continue to defend their position that notwithstanding the slogan their advertising was accurate and truthful.
After all, puffery is an accepted part of advertising, and in most cases the legal doctrine caveat emptor or “buyer beware” curtails the liability of companies for using flowery language to sell their products. In the case of Red Bull, however, the $13 million price tag to avoid legal wrangling was probably a smart move, considering that the product garnered billions of sales for its manufacturer over the years. Officially, drinking Red Bull does not give you wings.
Posted on Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 10:59 am
A resident of Los Angeles, Jesus Pimentel, started the class action ball rolling when he received a parking ticket when the meter where his car was parked expired. He is claiming that the $175 fine was excessive, and in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1 Section 17 of the California Constitution. He also alleged that when he failed to pay the fine, he was not allowed to renew the registration on his car and was threatened with impoundment of his car as well as civil litigation. This, Pimentel’s lawyer says, is a violation of due process, another hit at the Constitution (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments).
Pimentel is the lead plaintiff in a class action suit against the city, but his lawsuit is not the only one. Jeff Galfer, another Los Angeles resident who received similar treatment is also petitioning for joiners for a class action suit. In addition to the city’s Department of Transportation, Galfer also named Xerox State and Local Solutions, which handles the parking ticketing system for the city. If the court rules for the plaintiffs, it could have significant repercussions in transportation departments all over the U.S.
Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 at 5:15 pm
Following revelations that the NSA has been secretly tracking the phone and internet records of American citizens, former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman has filed a class action suit against a wide range of different parties, alleging a violation of the three named litigants’ basic constitutional rights. The suit seeks damages of $20 billion, as well as an injunction to end the program.
Named in the suit, in addition to the NSA, the Department of Justice, and Obama administration officials Eric Holder and Barack Obama himself, are nine companies who are alleged to have participated in the NSA’s PRISM program, including AOL, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Skype, as well as the CEOs of each of these companies.
All nine of the companies named in the suit deny knowledge of and involvement with the program.
Posted on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 at 3:16 pm
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court began considering making possible changes to the regulations governing class action lawsuits in the country. Specifically, the matter being discussed concerns personal injury attorneys and other parties possibly making intentionally low claims for damages, or taking advantage of existing loopholes, so that their claims can be tried in state courts — which are typically more favorable to plaintiffs’ interests.
Current regulations stipulate that if a class action claim is pursuing damages in excess of $5 million, the case must be moved to a federal court, and these courts are generally seen as favoring defendants’ interests. The case that brought forward this discussion is Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, and support for making changes was surprisingly found among a number of judges who are supportive of class action lawsuits.