Seattle-area taxi association files lawsuit against ridesharing service Uber

By Himanshu Arora · 22 replies
Mar 25, 2014
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  1. According to a GeekWire report, the Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association has filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court against Uber for operating illegally in Seattle and King County. Uber is a San Francisco, California-based transportation network company...

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  2. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    Lost revenue... so basically because they dont get their desired customers like every company on planet earth, they file a lawsuit against a company that just allows people to say "Hey I can drive you" which is what a lot of non-taxi people do.

    This just sounds childish tbh uber should be laughing.
  3. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    When a woman can win a lawsuit against McDonalds for spilling hot coffee on herself, I can't laugh at any lawsuit anymore. Though I hope the Taxi service does not win because the difference here is this is more carpooling than an actual Taxi service.

    I guess I should be sued as well for taking my GF to work since I did not pass the Taxi requirements ;)
    wastedkill likes this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

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

    Well at least these people do things the courteous way. In my country (South Africa) any taxi dispute (minibus taxi's that is) is resolved either by Smith & Wesson, Colt or AK47 (all stolen with serial no's filed off of course)
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,741   +3,758

    "The Operators Association says that such services not only harm the economic interests of their drivers, but are also bad for the community. They are seeking compensation for damages equal to the fares and tips lost to Uber, in addition to 'exemplary damages in an amount equal to three times the lost fares and tips caused by defendant Uber.'”

    So, basically, they don't want any competition.

    Although this is an absurd claim, I agree with GhostRyder. I've seen one too many ridiculous lawsuits actually play out well for the plaintiff in recent memory for this to be dismissed as the joke that it is.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,891   +1,224

    Like most things the devil is in the details... as in the case of both those lawsuits mentioned. I thought they were frivolous too until I read about them. McDonalds was warned multiple times about their coffee temps and they were selling coffee that was 180 degrees (Starbucks is 145). That's much hotter than anyone could possibly stand and they were doing it because it kept the coffee fresher. The lady asked for a couple million and she picked that number because that was McDonalds coffee revenue for ONE day.

    As for the taxi thing... I'm a big fan of free markets, but the taxi drivers have a point and here's why... Here in Milwaukee (I can't speak for SF, but I doubt it's any different) taxi drivers require a special license. Not a driver's license, but a separate license to operate a taxi. The tough part is the city only gives out a certain amount. Ever. They sell for up to $200,000 on the secondary market (no joke, this was just in the news). So imagine if you own a taxi company and just spent a few hundred grand to get a couple licenses so now you can have 2 more cabs on the street. Now some new company comes to town and basically says 'F That' to the rules you've been following and starts running cabs all over. You'd be mad too.

    The city should either make Uber follow the rules, or allow the taxi company to stop having to follow them. You can't apply regulation to only some of the businesses.
    worker17 likes this.
  7. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    So if you want to be nice and pick strangers up that are wanting a ride and you pick one up and then get sued because you dont have a taxi license, Do you think thats acceptable? I dont think so and no Uber isnt a taxi service at all and it should not be treated as such.
  8. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I think the thing here is that its not a taxi service, its more of a 'Stranger Car Pool' service I would guess (I don't use the app, I can only assume this based off what I read).

    As for the coffee thing, ok yea it was a bit hot but the lady was still responsible for spilling it on herself. Even at just I think the regulation is now 120 Degrees if you spill it on yourself, your probably going to burn yourself still. The fact was the lady got an load of money for spilling coffee on herself which I felt was beyond ridiculous.
  9. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    These days you can trip over a block of air and sue the city for a health and safety violation.
  10. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    I have sympathies for your free market principles, but here they don't apply. The taxi company is suing Uber not because they have to comply with getting a license, but because they are competing against them. The taxi company is trying to force Uber to go out of business because it enjoys a near-monopoly market on transportation services. If this were akin to free market, the taxi company would be asking the state to repeal Byzantine special licensing laws whose sole creation was to prevent competition to begin with.

    Uber isn't saying "F that" to the existing rules, though I wouldn't complain if they were. Uber saw a market opportunity for transportation services, met it, and is being rewarded for it. The taxi cab operators don't like it and wants them out of business, period.

    As for the McDonald's case, contributory negligence should have applied to that case because whether a coffee is 180 degrees or 145 degrees the proper place to put coffee is NOT between your crotch next to your genitals. But I digress.
    davislane1 likes this.
  11. worker17

    worker17 TS Rookie

    And the safety issue seems to have bypassed everyone lauding how great Uber is.

    What you gonna do when your family is killed by a psycho who gets Uber to send a victim his way?

    Uber: We're not responsible. We were just providing a cheap service those big cat corporations won't do for a reasonable price! Those thieving crooks just jack you up on price!

    Yeh sure. Nothing provided except high prices. That's why you steal your electricity, isn't it?
  12. worker17

    worker17 TS Rookie

    Check out the pictures of her burn. McDonalds got off light. The woman still lives in pain. But oh, she was just trying to pull a fast one.
    Baldanders likes this.
  13. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,891   +1,224

    You're completely right. I didn't say Uber was in the wrong or that the taxi drivers were in the right. I said I can see their point. Yes, the taxi services have a near-monopoly but not because they built it, it's because the city enforced that in order to protect taxi drivers and ensure they can make a living.

    I don't know enough about the Taxi system to say whether or not the rules they have to follow are needed or legit. But they should either drop the rules for everyone or keep Uber out. You can't only apply the rules to some and not all.

    If you drop the rules altogether then taxi drivers will get screwed. They'd immediately lose a ton in the form of a now-worthless taxi license and there would be so much competition we'd have taxi drivers with 2 hours sleep a night driving people around. Is that ok? Maybe, but we at least have to understand the whole picture before deciding.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  14. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    So when you pick up a stranger on the road you should be sued?
  15. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I can't tell if your serious or not...She spilled hot coffee on her lap and got burned through her pants. I worked at subway when I was 18 and burned my hand on a oven multiple times that was way hotter than that coffee was and im not in pain. Don't give me that load of **** that shes in some sort of pain.

    Its carpooling essentially, use your brain and think. This is not a driver driving people around all day and charging fees for everyone, its a carpool app that tells people about others who want to carpool together. I guess 75% of America should be arrested for driving people around since they don't have Taxi Licenses.
    cmbjive and wastedkill like this.
  16. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    Seems legit. one is a Seattle-based company, the other is from San Francisco, California.
    in my country, the Philippines, a bus is declared a colorum if it operates outside its franchise area and subject to fines/penalties.
    as I understand it, the two companies are from two different states with different rules/guidelines. the company in question must apply for business permit before it can operate
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,746   +3,712

    At first I thought "BS!". Then after reading the details, I understand why they are filing the suit. It makes perfect sense.
  18. No her son and her ask for the medical bills be covered. she had skin graphs the burn were 3 degree. Micdonald's toll'd them off. So they sued and won. the burns were that bad and she was like 75-80 years old. look it up
  19. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    Unfortunately, that's life. Do any of us really care that Remington is no longer making typewriters? Or that Kodak is no longer making cameras? The taxicab drivers operated in a world where they thought there were no other meaningful options that arose to challenge their business model. This is what happens when you try to freeze your market in place: Taxicab operators forgot that anyone with a car can essentially do what they are doing at a more affordable price. The taxicab operators are not doing this to protect their consumers. They're doing this to protect their own bottom lines. I just leave you with this blog post from WaPo from a blogger who was served by a taxi driver and an Uber X employee. The easiest way for taxicab drivers to win is to provide excellent customer service. Are you sure you really wish to protect an industry that operates as though they're government employees because they know they can always get steady business?
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,746   +3,712

    They are not challenging the Taxi service or else they would follow the same regulation guidelines as the taxi service.

    Think of it this way! Just because someone is from a state that has a faster speed limit, doesn't give them the authority to drive that speed in every state. One you cross over to a new state, you have new regulations for which you are bound by. Follow those regulations or be held in violation.

    Wrecker Drivers are no exception. They have different regulations for different states. If they want to operate in multiple states, they have to abide by all the regulations. Even if that means duplicating procedures for each state.
  21. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    The fact that Uber exists is the direct challenge to taxi cabs and limousine drivers. The only regulations that should really matter is that the person driving the car has a clean driving record and auto insurance that exceeds the minimum full coverage limits for that particular state. Licensing is not about protecting consumers, but preventing competition.

    Like I said above, if the taxicab operators were looking to get rid of licensing completely I doubt anyone would disagree. Instead, they're trying to heap regulation upon a more efficient competitor because they refuse to compete. Everyone should be against such cronyism.
    cliffordcooley and davislane1 like this.
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,746   +3,712

    @cmbjive, I won't disagree with you on those points.
  23. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 574   +72

    First in regards to the Mcdonalds coffee, the woman was a retard placing a hot cup of coffee between her legs and then driving off resulting in it spilling. If she had been served cold coffee she would have been moaning. IMO she should have taken the whole cup and poured it down her face and then jumped off a cliff, the world doesn't need complete retards like that existing in any gene pool!

    Now to the actual thread on the car pooling services. Tbh this is typical of the US, to the rest of the world it's known as the sue em all country cause you all seem to sue for stupid things. Don't blame the claimants blame your stupid government for allowing such cases to be presented to the courts. As soon as it was filed they should have replied back with a simple letter that says "F*ck of you retards, if you want to increase profits do a better feckin job"

    Yes I sound mad but thats because ****ing sick and tired of the petty cases you hear about and the large majority come out of the crack pot fuelled US.

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