The objection raises questions about the deal being approved.
(Reuters) – A key plaintiff in a driver class action against Uber said he does not support a proposed settlement in which thousands of drivers would receive up to $100 million, but remain independent contractors instead of employees.
Uber and smaller rival, Lyft, are attempting to settle lawsuits by drivers who contend they should be classified as employees and therefore entitled to reimbursement for expenses, including gasoline and vehicle maintenance. Drivers currently pay those costs themselves.
In a court filing on Monday, plaintiff Douglas O’Connor said the deal “is not in my interest or in the interest of any Uber driver.”
The lawsuit had often been informally referred to among lawyers as the “O’Connor” case, and his opposition to the agreement could increase pressure on the San Francisco federal judge overseeing the deal to reject it.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the drivers, has defended the deal since it was announced last month, saying the hardest working drivers could receive thousands of dollars each. Drivers also risked getting nothing if the case proceeded, she said.
However, several drivers and attorneys have criticized the settlement as too small, particularly because the total potential damages in the case reached $852 million....MORE