Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lawyer in Uber Class Action Says They Want to Take the Case National

From Motherboard:
Neither party wants to back down in the newly-certified class action lawsuit against Uber. While Uber’s attorneys are talking about appealing the most recent decision, the other side is talking about taking the case national. 
The employment lawsuit against Uber, which will decide whether Uber’s drivers are independent contractors or actually employees, was certified as a class action on Tuesday, with a potential class of 160,000 drivers. Uber put out a press release earlier this week claiming that due to restrictions placed on the class by Judge Edward Chen, only 15,000 actual drivers out of the larger total of 160,000 that is cited in legal filings would be eligible as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. 
“We don’t have the actual numbers, but that sounds low,” said Adelaide Pagano, an attorney at Boston-based firm Lichten & Liss-Riordan, which is representing the plaintiffs in this case as well as plaintiffs in a number of other sharing-economy cases, including lawsuits against Lyft, Postmates, Caviar, and Homejoy. 
The decision on Tuesday only certified drivers who aren’t bound by arbitration clauses—in other words, bound by contracts that signed away the right to sue Uber. Although arbitration clauses before May 2014 have been ruled invalid, many drivers have started working for Uber since, or have accepted the new arbitration clause. Drivers that never contracted directly with Uber, instead working through a middleman company, are not eligible either. 
These limitations might change as the case progresses, but for now, Lichten & Liss-Riordan’s response has been to sweep up as many drivers into their case as possible, even if they don’t fall into the certified class. “[D]rivers who have driven for Uber any time since May 2014 who want to participate in the case will need to contact our firm, so that we can bring this challenge for them individually,” they said in an official statement. According to the firm, approximately 2,000 drivers all over the country have already contacted them....MORE.
In the FedEx case a couple years ago Liss-Riordan got the judge to totally reject FDX's argument: that the defendent
 ...manages a "sophisticated information and distribution network" but doesn't directly provide delivery services...
FedEx settled for $228 million and had to give the new employees a hearty "Welcome aboard".