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Memphis Latest to See Battle Over Uber, Lyft

MEMPHIS (CN) - Uber and Lyft are operating in Memphis without mandatory licenses and other requisites, a class claims in Federal Court.

Southern Transportation Inc. and driver George Abraham sued Lyft Inc., Uber Technologies Inc., Rasier LLC and Lyft driver Johnny Neal individually and on behalf of other Shelby County, Tenn. taxi and transportation services.

Rasier is a subsidiary of Uber, according to the company's website. A similar lawsuit was filed a month ago in Miami Federal Court.

Southern Transportation and Abraham say that the app-based transportation services are running in the Memphis area without proper licensing and other requirements.

"The plaintiffs would also show to the court that defendants have been engaged unlawful[ly] in the taxi/limousine/transportation 'for hire' industry since approximately April 2014, and have consistently refused to abide by the codes, ordinances and regulations that have been enforced in Memphis and Shelby County since the defendants have begun their unlawful operation," the lawsuit states.

"Defendants are operating 'for hire' yet are doing so without obtaining licenses, without paying license fees, without proper insurance, without charging regulated rates and without following other obligations imposed on 'for hire' vehicle operations, including, but not limited to, undergoing a physical examination and criminal background check," it continues.

Members of the class pay license fees and other expenses that companies like Uber and Lyft do not pay, according to the complaint.

"These illegal actions by the defendants result in the realization of illicit profits to the detriment of the plaintiffs, while at the same time depriving the plaintiffs of profits they would otherwise obtain but for the actions of the defendants," the lawsuit states.

The Memphis class seeks a declaration that Uber and Lyft violate state and city codes. They also want $3 million for each plaintiff.

The class is represented by Nicholas Bragorgos of McNabb, Bragorgos & Burgess in Memphis.

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