Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Uber was so close to trial over cabbie compensation in Australia that the live link to the court proceedings had already been posted when the trial was cancelled. Image: Supreme Court of Victoria
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Uber to pay Australian cabbies $272M compensation

Deal struck just before trial started

Uber will pay almost $272 million Australian dollars ($173 million USD) to compensate taxi and hire car drivers who lost out when the rideshare company “aggressively” moved into the Australian market, reports the Post of New Zealand.

A class action against Uber was expected to go to trial and be livestreamed in the Supreme Court of Victoria on March 18th. However, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said it would be abandoned after Uber agreed instead to the $272 million settlement.

The settlement is the fifth-largest class action settlement in Australia’s history coming years after the action on behalf of more than 8000 taxi and hire car owners and drivers was launched.

“The drivers and car owners lost income and licence values because of Uber’s aggressive arrival into the market and the company tried to deny them compensation at every turn,” the Post quotes Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Michael Donelly.

“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,” he said.

“We are extremely proud to have succeeded today in holding Uber to account, in securing … a $271.8 million sum that will finally put real money back into the accounts of people who have been devastated.”

Plaintiff’s Solicitors: Maurice Blackburn

From Maurice Blackburn’s website:

Andrianakis v Uber Technologies Inc & Ors (S ECI 2019 01926) (Andrianakis Proceeding) is a group proceeding (class action) brought on behalf of persons who were taxi-cab or hire car drivers, operators or licence holders during periods within 2014 to 2017.

Salem v Uber Technologies Inc & Ors (S ECI 2020 01834) (Salem Proceeding) is a group proceeding brought on behalf of persons who hold a claim that had vested in or been assigned, devolved or transferred to them prior to 20 April 2020 from a person who would otherwise have been a group member in the Andrianakis Proceeding. Both group proceedings are brought against a group of Australian and international Uber entities and alleges that they engaged in conspiracy by unlawful means, causing the group members to suffer a loss of the equity value of taxi licences and loss of income.

The Andrianakis Proceeding, Salem Proceeding and a non-class action proceeding commenced by Taxi Apps Pty Ltd (S ECI 2020 01585) are being jointly managed by the Honourable Justice Nichols.”