Uber’s Motion to Dismiss SF Taxi Drivers Suit Defeated

On November 20, 2013, Judge Ernest Goldsmith of the San Francisco Superior Court rejected Uber Technologies attempts to throw out a suit brought by San Francisco taxi drivers seeking compensation for unfair completion from Uber.  The taxi drivers all drive vehicles that comply with the legal requirements of the CA PUC and SFMTA including one million in insurance per vehicle, police background checks for drivers, and vehicle inspection safety checks.  The drivers contend that Uber competes unfairly in that it has not complied with the regulations for carrying passengers for hire.

In his Order, Judge Goldsmith wrote:

“The Court declines to invoke the doctrine of judicial abstention as to the first cause of action for unfair business practices, fourth cause of action for accounting, and fifth cause of action for declaratory relief.  The instant case is distinguished from Alvarado v. Selma Convalescent Hospital (2007) 153 Cai.App.4th 1292, where the court found judicial abstention appropriate where it was called upon to oversee nursing hour requirements and regulate complex health care matters on a class wide basis involving several classes of health care providers.  The gravamen of this instant case is statutory interpretation with no regulatory or administrative implications.

The Court overrules the demurrer to the second and third causes of action for interference with economic relations.  Plaintiff pleads facts stating past and future economic relationships as distinguished from Roth v. Rhodes (1994) 25 Cai.App.4th 530, where there was no allegation of interference with an economic relationship, and any future economic relationship was entirely speculative.  Plaintiffs herein have alleged past and future interference with their economic relationship with the passenger public, which necessarily includes plaintiffs taxi fare customers.”

On December 10, 2013, Uber filed its Answer to the complaint.  Plaintiff has served numerous discovery requests to which Uber filed objections to each individual request.  If you would like more information on this case, please contact the Brandi Law Firm at tjb@brandilaw.com.