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Wave Goodbye to the Courtroom: Uber Updates Arbitration Agreement in Terms of Use

Ridesharing app

The popular ridesharing service Uber recently updated their Terms of Use (ToU), effective starting Monday, November 21. The key portion to note is the updated arbitration agreement section, which will affect customers who seek to take legal action against the company. The full ToU can be found here, but we have highlighted some of the most important portions of the arbitration section below for your convenience. The section leads with:

“By agreeing to the Terms, you agree that you are required to resolve any claim that you may have against Uber on an individual basis in arbitration, as set forth in this Arbitration Agreement. This will preclude you from bringing any class, collective, or representative action against Uber, and also preclude you from participating in or recovering relief under any current or future class, collective, consolidated, or representative action brought against Uber by someone else.”

Neither customers nor the company will be able to seek legal action against the other outside of arbitration, and all arbitration cases will be handled on an individual basis unless both Uber and the customers agree in writing to handle the arbitration in a representative, consolidated, collective, or class action proceeding. Depending on the size of your claim, certain rules may apply:

  • If your claim is for less than $10,000, your case will be decided solely based on the documents sent in and will not require a hearing, unless otherwise requested by the customer or the Arbitrator.
  • If the damages sought do not exceed $75,000, Uber will pay any American Arbitration Association arbitrator, administrative, and filing fees unless the Arbitrator finds that either the damages sought or the substance of your claim were brought for an improper purpose or were frivolous.
  • Uber will not be able to recover any attorney’s fees or expenses if the company wins the arbitration case.

What Changed?

These changes significantly limit your ability to seek legal action against Uber. In the previous ToU, the Arbitration Agreement included:

“[E]ach party retains the right to bring an individual action in small claims court and the right to seek injunctive or other equitable relief in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent the actual or threatened infringement, misappropriation or violation of a party's copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents or other intellectual property rights.”

While the previous ToU still prevented plaintiffs from filing a class action lawsuit against Uber, removing this passage further restricted a customer’s legal options when filing a claim against the company. However, if you act quickly, you still have the option of rejecting these changed terms.

Rejecting the Changes

If you previously agreed to Uber’s ToU, you still have the option to reject these changes, as long as you do so within 30 days or November 21.

“Notwithstanding the provisions in Section I above, regarding consent to be bound by amendments to these Terms, if Uber changes this Arbitration Agreement after the date you first agreed to the Terms (or to any subsequent changes to the Terms), you may reject any such change by providing Uber written notice of such rejection within 30 days of the date such change became effective, as indicated in the “Effective” date above.”

In order to reject these terms you need to one of the following actions:

No matter which option you choose, you need to include your full name and clearly state your intention to reject the updated ToU. Your rejection means that any dispute you have with the company will be arbitrated in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Agreement set in the most recent ToU you agreed to.

These changes come in the wake of numerous lawsuits; Uber has paid at least $146 million in order to settle four cases this year alone, and has been sued more than any other United States-based start-up company valued at at least $10 billion.

Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. have provided legal representation for injured victims for more than 75 years, and have successfully recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements over that time. If you were seriously injured through someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, give us a call at (732) 440-3089 to speak with a member of our firm, or fill out our online form to request a free case evaluation today.

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