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.
On February 9, 2018, Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber") and Waymo LLC ("Waymo") announced a deal in which Uber will pay Waymo 0.34 percent of its equity to settle Waymo's claims that it stole trade secrets and infringed patents related to Waymo's proprietary laser system used to help guide driverless vehicles. At a $72 billion valuation, 0.34 percent of Uber's equity equates to approximately $245 million. As part of the deal, Uber also has agreed not to incorporate Waymo trade secrets into its autonomous vehicle hardware and software.
A proposed class of drivers appealed the lower court's decision requiring them to arbitrate their wage claims on an individual basis against the ride-hailing company, Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber" or the "Company"). Specifically, U.S. District Court Judge James S. Moody Jr. rejected all three arguments made by the drivers, that: (1) the arbitration clause was unconscionable; (2) the provision requiring drivers to split the cost of arbitration was unlawful; and (3) the forum selection provision was unlawful. Coming before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the drivers have now argued that the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") bars the arbitration clause in the user agreements.
In late July 2016, drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber" or the "Company") lost their bid to have a Maryland federal judge reverse his earlier ruling that the dispute must proceed in arbitration. The drivers filed a class action suit in Maryland late last year, spearheaded by the named Plaintiff, Elizabeth Varon, alleging that they were underpaid and that Company withheld tips. The drivers sought to be compensated for the costs of doing business (gas, car maintenance, etc.), and to be reimbursed for the $1 fee Uber takes off of every fare to pay for background checks on drivers.
On a previous post, we discussed a class certification appeal by Uber Technologies Inc. ("Uber") in Douglas O'Conner et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc., No. 15-80169 (9th Cir.).