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 whose mobile app connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ride sharing services.
The lawsuit claims that Uber engages in unlawful and deceptive business practice, as the company’s drivers do not abide by the laws that taxi drivers are required follow in the region. As per the rules, taxi drivers are required to complete a training course, pass a criminal-background check, and participate in “ride-alongs” with qualified drivers. Any violation could result in jail time for up to 90 days and up to a $1,000 fine.
Apart from arguing that Uber exempts itself from a number of standards that taxi drivers need to meet, the lawsuit also points to a law that "fines limousine services if they allow customers to make arrangements to immediately ask for a driver from their current location", claiming that the company’s drivers do not conform to the law.
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.”
Uber, on the other hand, says that the company has created thousands of small business jobs, and that it remains focused on the safety of riders and opportunity for drivers.