Class Challenges Uber Fees at LAX

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Uber charged tens of thousands of customers “fictitious” LAX airport fees, though its drivers don’t pay anything to the airport, a class action claims in Superior Court.
     Lead plaintiff Cy R. Brown sued Uber Technologies on Jan 6, alleging breach of contract, fraudulent concealment, conversion, unjust enrichment and other counts.
     Brown claims that licensed taxis pay Los Angeles International Airport more than $3 million in fees, and that Uber is not authorized to operate at the airport but nonetheless charges passengers a $4 fee.
     Brown says he paid $73 for an Oct. 16, 2013 trip to the airport after finding a rideshare driver through the Uber smartphone app.
     Included in his receipt was the $4 charge for the LAX airport fee, he says.
     “Uber has imposed the fictitious ‘LAX airport fee’ upon tens of thousands of passengers,” Brown says in his 16-page complaint.
     In December, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey settled a civil consumer protection claim against rideshare company Lyft.
     The San Francisco based-company is required to tighten background checks and seek permission from airports where the service operates. Lyft also agreed to pay $500,000 in civil penalties .
     The same day, the prosecutors announced a lawsuit against Uber, claiming that the service was charging a fraudulent $4 fee at San Francisco International Airport, and taking shortcuts on background checks.
     “Unfortunately, Uber, unlike Lyft, has refused to comply with reasonable regulations as required by California law,” District Attorney Lacey said on Dec. 9. “As a result, Uber continues to put consumers at risk by misleading the public about the background checks of its drivers and its unwillingness to ensure that correct fares are charged.”
     Brown seeks compensatory and statutory damages, and costs.
     He is represented by Todd M. Schneider, with Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky & Wotkyns, of San Francisco.

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