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Court Finds Uber’s Arbitration Clause Unenforceable

By Timothy Tomasik & Patrick Grim

A court has rejected the $72 billion dollar rideshare giant’s most recent attempt to force its riders behind closed doors. In reversing the lower court, the First Circuit ruled that Uber’s mandatory arbitration clause was unenforceable.

In the suit, Uber recognized riders confronted with lengthy sets of terms and conditions rarely, if ever, review the fine print on their iPhones while signing up. Notably, Uber did not argue that any of the Plaintiffs actually saw the arbitration clause which waived their right to a jury trial or even clicked on the “Terms of Service & Privacy Policy” button. Rather, it relied solely on a claim that its presentation of the clause was sufficiently conspicuous to bind the Plaintiffs whether or not they chose to click through the relevant terms and arbitration clause.

Why does this ruling that Uber failed to properly communicate the terms of its arbitration provision matter for riders nationwide? Arbitration clauses prevent victims from going to court and discussing their cases publicly. Instead, riders and drivers are forced into what amounts to a privatized court system where the rules and practices favor businesses over consumers. There, judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who receive repeat business from companies like Uber and Lyft. Conversely, class actions provide a means for people to band together to pursue justice when companies engage in widespread violations of the law.

Who you choose to represent you in suits against Uber and Lyft matters. For years, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman has been on the front lines protecting the rights of rideshare passengers everywhere. Check out TKK’s page to find out more about what our lawyers are doing to protect your constitutional right to a jury trial.

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