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Uber Driver's Suit Over Gun Carrying Ban Dismissed

On February 16, 2018, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, dismissed a proposed class action against Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber"), the suit alleged Uber's rule prohibiting drivers from carrying a gun violates their constitutional rights. Judge Bloom found that Jose Mejia ("Plaintiff"), an Uber driver proposing to lead a class of all persons similarly situated, failed to plead an injury in fact, and, therefore, lacked standing to sue.

Since June 2015, Uber has maintained a policy prohibiting its drivers from carrying guns, even if they have a state license to do so. Plaintiff alleged that the policy was in violation of a Florida statute titled the Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008. He sought, therefore, declaratory relief and damages on behalf of himself and a putative class of Florida Uber drivers who have state-issued concealed weapon permits. Plaintiff filed the lawsuit in August 2017.

In September 2017, Uber asked the court to compel Plaintiff to arbitrate the dispute, stating that he agreed to arbitration when he signed up to drive for Uber. Plaintiff opposed the motion, stating, inter alia, that there is no meaningful way to opt out of arbitration. Before Judge Bloom ruled on the arbitration issue, however, she issued the ruling that Plaintiff lacked standing, and dismissed the case without prejudice.

The Judge cited the fact that Plaintiff only alleged that he "wishes" to carry his firearm while driving for Uber, not that he tried to do so, or that Uber attempted to enforce its policy against him. Judge Bloom noted that it is not the Court's role to extrapolate how Uber might enforce its policy. Therefore, the Court found that Plaintiff's allegations failed to sufficiently plead an invasion of a legally protected interest that is "concrete and particularized" and "actual or imminent," as required by the law; thus, the case was dismissed.

The legal team at SFMS has significant experience litigating class action and employment matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this posting, please contact Nick Lussier ([email protected]) or Chiharu Sekino ([email protected]). We can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

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Atkins, Dorothy. "Uber Driver Can't Sue Over Gun-Carrying Ban, Judge Says." Law 360. Last modified on February 16, 2018.

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