Thousands of London cab drivers set to sue Uber for £250 million

In this Aug. 16, 2019 file photo, the logo for Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
In this Aug. 16, 2019 file photo, the logo for Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Copyright Richard Drew/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Richard Drew/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
By Indrabati Lahiri
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Recently, Uber has been sued in a number of places, including Paris and in Australia by local cab drivers who say that Uber has led to them losing income.


More than 10,000 drivers of London's iconic black cabs are suing the ride hailing giant for £250 million (€291.7 million). They allege that Uber secured its licence allowing it to operate in London through illegal means.

The legal firm Mishcon de Reya and claims company RGL Management which are handling the claim say it could potentially see each of the 10,000 plus cab drivers receiving approximately £25,000 in compensation.

The action says that Transport for London (TfL) was misled into giving Uber a private hire operator licence, due to the company not being transparent about its business model.

It is claimed that Uber told TfL that it would be dealing with all bookings, however, in reality, the company regularly delegated bookings to individual drivers, which can have a number of legal consequences due to local transport laws.

Before this new lawsuit dealt the company another blow, Uber had been attempting to pacify London's black cab drivers by letting them also take rides on its app.

Why is Uber being sued in so many places?

The action in London is the latest in a string of similar cases against Uber, across the world, from Australia to Paris, as thousands of cab drivers argue that the company is to blame for a decline in their earnings.

In Paris, the company was accused of unfair competition by about 2,500 taxi drivers, but after a Paris commercial court ruling against the drivers, Uber won this lawsuit.

However, in Australia, where Uber was being sued by 8,000 taxi drivers there was a different outcome and it eventually agreed to a $178 million settlement.

Michael Doneely, principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said in a statement, as reported by Al Jazeera, “Uber fought tooth and nail at every point along the way, every day, for the five years this has been on foot, trying at every turn to deny our group members any form of remedy or compensation for their losses.

“But on the courtroom steps and after years of refusing to do the right thing by those we say they harmed, Uber has blinked, and thousands of everyday Australians joined together to stare down a global giant.

“This will be one of the top five class action settlements in Australian legal history- putting beyond any doubt that Uber has been held to account for its actions.”

Regarding the Australian lawsuit, Uber said, “The rise of ridesharing has grown Australia’s overall point-to-point transport industry, bringing with it greater choice and improved experiences for customers, as well as new earnings opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Australian workers.

“Since 2018, Uber has made significant contributions into various state-level taxi compensation schemes, and with today’s proposed settlement, we put these legacy issues firmly in our past. We will continue focusing on helping the millions of Australians who use Uber to get from A to B in a safe, affordable and reliable manner.”

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