Connecticut judge dismisses racketeering lawsuit against Uber

By midian182 ยท 28 replies
Aug 14, 2015
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  1. Uber was handed some rare good news on Thursday when a US district court dismissed a racketeering lawsuit filed against the ride-hailing company by more than a dozen Connecticut taxi and limousine companies.

    In the lawsuit, which was filed in May 2014, the plaintiffs accused Uber of competing unfairly, attempting to lure away their drivers, engaging in deceptive trade practices, misrepresenting its services and using a billing system that violated racketeering laws.

    The suit also claimed that Uber succeeds because it can “prey parasitically on established taxicab and livery services” by cutting corners and ignoring laws meant to protect passengers.

    U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson said the taxi and limousine firms failed to show these accusations, and rejected their argument that Uber should follow the same licensing and safety regulations that they are legally required to observe. He said this was because it was only recently that Connecticut's legislature even asked the state's Department of Transportation to consider whether Uber should be covered.

    Uber argued, as it has done in similar cases in the past, that as it is a technology company and not a taxi service it’s unclear how state transportation laws could apply to its business. The company filed a motion to dismiss, adding that it was not operating unfairly or illegally and that its high-tech model should not be constrained by "outdated" transportation regulations. The motion was granted and Judge Thompson gave the taxi companies 30 days to file an amended lawsuit if they wish.

    Lawyers for the taxi and limousine companies have not commented on the decision. A spokesman for Uber, Matthew Wing, said the ruling lets Connecticut drivers and passengers keep receiving the "economic and transportation benefits" that the company provides.

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  2. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    It's a fascinating story to continue following... It's really amazing how Taxi Unions around the world are attempting to kill Uber... price you pay for being so much better than the competition I suppose...

    Kudos to Uber - the winners in this are people who want to have a convenient cost-effective way of traveling in a city without owning a car :)

    With Uber recently winning a lawsuit in Toronto, hopefully this will eventually lead to a reformation in Taxi service throughout the world.
    Skidmarksdeluxe and midian182 like this.
  3. Everyone is overlooking a HUGE, GIANT, GLARING about Auto Insurance? Because I'm sure you know that personal auto insurance excludes livery service (driving people for a fee)...I know you know this, right?
    So, if your insurance policy does not cover this, whose does? Uber's?? NO.
    This is where trouble in paradise begins - they're just ignoring it.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    Yeah well, it would be nice if you could reason with the Uber fans here, but you can't.

    Commercial insurance attached to a chauffeur's license, can have liability and property damage coverage possibly into the millions of dollars. It's nothing like mandatory, "no fault, just so you can have tags" state minimums.

    Not to mention if it's assumed everybody is now an Uber driver, then the insurance companies have damned near every right to jack everybody's insurance rates up.

    So, get into an accident driving for Uber, and if you're not indemnified via incorporation of one form or another, the "injury lawyer", you see on late night TV, is liable to be coming after your house, your property, and possibly your first born.

    Most of the people here live in a fantasy world of vapor money, second life games, and a cyber world where nothing is illegal if you don't want it to be. Nobody in law enforcement is chasing "the real criminals", and some $2.00 crap-plication is going to make you a billionaire, and every two bit clown is "Robin Hood".
  5. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Well this is just stupid
    "Uber argued, as it has done in similar cases in the past, that as it is a technology company and not a taxi service"

    Then they say this
    "A spokesman for Uber, Matthew Wing, said the ruling lets Connecticut drivers and passengers keep receiving the "economic and transportation benefits" that the company provides."

    If your a technology company how are you providing transportation benefits? Don't get me wrong, I'm for the idea of ridding the world of the taxi scourge that plagues a lot of cities.

    The insurance thing is a real concern, however I find auto insurance a scam (the whole having a penis means you have to pay more BS) and thus don't feel bad that they don't get to increase the rates for Uber drivers. And in reality it's very hard for the insurance companies to prove what's going on inside your car, maybe in the case of an accident it might be easier to prove, but again you can just claim you picked up a hitchhiker, no law against that. They would need to have financial records, phone records and whatever data Uber tracks to really crack down on Uber drivers. The way I see it Uber is a bubble that will soon burst, hopefully it brings changes to the current taxi industry before that happens.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    That's because women don't have accidents, they cause them.
  7. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    As long as you are running the app you are covered by ubers insurance for liability only, On route or carrying a passenger you have fully comp insurance up to 1k providing your personnel insurance covers collisions. And up to a million liability.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    It will be interesting to find out what happens, if and when, this gets put to the test.

    I guess nobody's heard of a "chauffeur's license" either?
  9. mctommy

    mctommy TS Addict Posts: 215   +38

    Uber has also shown that its background check for its drivers is a joke... but you know it's really safe!
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Insurance laws differ the world over is not mandatory in a lot of countries. They could be bending the laws in North America whereas they're perfectly legal elsewhere.
    It sounds like a case of sour grapes to me as far as their competition is concerned.
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    At the expense of sounding sexist. Heaven forbid that you are. :D
  12. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    Yeah, cause everyone who drives a taxi is an upstanding individual?!?!? Please...
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    Actually, many taxi drivers are immigrants and this is the only employment open to them. Some of them, God forbid, even have families they'd like to keep fed. Hence, it has been, and I imagine will continue to be, a crushing boor and a monumental annoyance, listening to you spout regurgitated Uber propaganda.
  14. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Maniac Posts: 241   +168

    Why do people set things up as though they're perfect dichotomies? There are good and bad points about Uber, as there are good and bad things about more traditional taxi services.

    I like uber's idea, but their implementation seems poor in places (hello, France). But why the competition doesn't just digitise more I have no idea. Things like not being able to pay by card or know when the driver is coming should be sorted out industry wide.
  15. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    Complaining about Uber background checks may or may not be valid... but Taxi driver background checks are no more thorough...

    At least Uber drivers can be rated - and you can see the ratings for a driver before you decide to "hire" them to pick you up... If 100 people gave the driver a good rating, odds are pretty decent they aren't going to be a retired axe-murderer :)

    When you order/hail a taxi, you have no idea what driver you are getting!!
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    I find it even more amusing that today's generation of computer addicts, need to solicit the opinions of a hundred unknown strangers, then accept them as fact, before they can make any sort of decision. But then, I guess I'm just old fashioned.
  17. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    Not so much NEED.... but it's nice to have some other way of finding out about your driver.... when you hail a cab, you have NO information whatsoever....

    To complain that Uber doesn't do a background check on their drivers therefore seems rather silly... Uber drivers get a choice of who drives them - taxi drivers get "luck of the draw"...

    I think I'll choose Uber, thank you very much - and it looks like I'm in the majority.... hence all the lawsuits :)
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    You've made that ever so apparent through the course of these threads. Why don't you just come out and say it, "I'll use Uber because it's hipper", and be done with it.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to read about 200 user reviews so I can choose my next brand of toilet paper
  19. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    The problem with you, crankypants, is that you never bother to prove anything you say - you just like to argue for arguments' sake - and you're almost always wrong of course...

    A Chauffeur's license is simply $35 and a pretty simple written test on top of a normal drivers' license - so stop harping about how it's so much harder to get....,1607,7-127-1627_8669_53333-25395--,00.html

    That's Michigan, but pretty much every state is the same... (age limit changes depends on the driving age in each state).

    I would prefer to actually rate drivers and choose the ones who the majority of people say are good drivers... When you hail a cab, you know nothing about the driver - for all you know, he's about to have a psychotic break!

    That actually happened to my parents when they were taking a cab in NYC - fortunately the driver felt it coming and told them to get out of the cab - then he started ranting and raving - my parents quickly ran out and hailed another one...

    If that driver had been an Uber driver, his ratings would have reflected that - and no more passengers for him!
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    This just proves my point. If it's so easy to get a chauffer's license, why do you, along with all Uber's drivers, feel it's beneath their dignity to bother with it? Or summarily declare the the law doesn't attach to you, because you don't think it should.

    Those are facts too. Which again, you either to fail to understand, or conveniently deny their existence.

    So that's what this is all about, a bad personal experience from possibly decades ago?

    You know how people like to gossip on the web. Was there even an internet back then?

    With all due respect, I'd much rather take my chances with one psychotic taxi driver on the loose, as opposed to massive herds of yuppies running their mouths on their smartphones behind the wheel, which I have to face daily.

    Who knows? Maybe they're uploading the Uber driver reviews. Data rates are coming down. Now you don't have to get off the road and sit at some crummy desktop. Laws are made to be broken, right?

    As far as your traumatic experience with a lone cab driver goes, in all honestly, I wouldn't care if he decided to commit suicide by driving off Niagara Falls, and much less so about who was in the car with him.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  21. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    Lol... no... you prove mine... go re-read your OWN posts about stringent requirements for a chauffeur's license... you obviously had no clue about them and were spouting nonsense - as you're spouting now...

    It's easy for me to buy $35 of green jelly... but I don't need it... so why would I!?!?!?

    Same with an Uber driver paying $35 for a chauffeur's license - they don't NEED it, so why get it??
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    No, you do need it.

    Since you've chosen Michigan as your test location, here are the exemptions from having a chauffer's license to transport passenger's:

    Some drivers do not need a chauffeur license:

    • A farmer or farmer's employee operating a vehicle exclusively in connection with the farming operation.
    • A fire fighter or a member of a fire department operating an ambulance.
    • A fire fighter or police officer operating equipment used exclusively in connection with their employment.
    • Utility company employees hired to drive trucks used to transport employees, materials, and tools.
    • Service or repair personnel who operate motor vehicles to carry their tools and transport parts or appliances only incidentally in connection with their employment.
    • Emergency medical services personnel operating an ambulance.
    • County road commission employees and other employees of local units of government who do not drive their own vehicles and whose work consists of hauling road building materials and supplies for the road commission or for other municipal purposes.
    • Michigan Department of Transportation employees whose work consists of operating vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more to transport highway and bridge maintenance materials and supplies for state trunkline maintenance.
    • A person operating a motor vehicle for a volunteer program who only receives reimbursement for vehicle operating costs.
    • A person who operates a motor home for personal pleasure.
    • A parent or parent's designee for the purpose of transporting pupils to or from school and school-related events.
    Oddly, I don't see Uber driver on the list. Maybe you can manufacture a reason for that.
  23. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    Once again, you fail to prove what you write... Nor do you think about what you say!!

    The whole argument and plethora of lawsuits is about this!!

    Uber has WON most lawsuits saying they DON'T need the chauffeur's license!! That link is to their victory in Michigan!!
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,516

    You on;y read the first post of that blog, and it is heavily slanted in favor of Uber, since Uber drivers seem to be the majority of its membership.

    So, more bias from you, As it stands now, you do need a chauffer's license in Michigan. Plus, one state does not this nation make.

    And since you like to quote articles, see what kind of self involved spin you can put on this:
  25. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,557   +706

    Lol.... you don't actually read what you post, do you?

    I DID read the entire page - the only dissenting opinion was 1 guy who was quickly proven wrong in the rebutting post... his last reply was eerily similar to yours - just attacking the person who posted, not adding any new information or giving any evidence...

    Uber continues to operate in Detroit - and their drivers DON'T have chauffeur's licenses.... much like every other city Uber operates in!!

    This is one of the main reasons there are lawsuits... all these states/cities want Uber Drivers to have chauffeur's licenses.... Why, you might ask? Each license costs a fee ($35 in Michigan, and it's a similar fee throughout)... where do you think that money goes :)

    Your article, by the way, had you bothered to read it in its entirety, is just an opinion piece on whether Uber's background checks are flawed... As the article itself says, of COURSE they're flawed!! No system is perfect - you'll see convicted criminals working just about everywhere...

    Once you serve your time in jail, you ARE entitled to earn a living.... There are plenty of convicted criminals driving taxis as well - no system is perfect... The important thing isn't if a convicted criminal is driving me somewhere - it's if a CURRENT criminal is driving me somewhere - and NO system can guarantee that's not going to happen...

    Every criminal has a first offense sometime - you hear about people going to jail while working in just about any job.

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