Uber’s ‘E-Hail’ Called a Danger to the Road

          BROOKLYN (CN) – The oft-sued app-based car service Uber fosters unsafe driving because it requires drivers to check their phones to get clients, two driving services claim in Kings County Supreme Court.
     XYZ Two Way Radio Service Inc. and Elite Limousine Plus Inc., a pair of colloquially known “black-car” services in the city, sued Uber Technologies Inc. on Wednesday.
     They say the new “e-hail” service of getting a car service is dangerous.
     “The driver must log in to Uber’s technology platform via the Internet using a mobile phone,” according to the complaint. Once the e-hail is made, an Uber driver has 15 seconds to respond “or they will lose the job to another job, increasing stress, distraction and the potential for accidents,” according to the complaint.
     The whole process forces drivers to “focus on their mobile phones as they desperately seek the next fare in competition with their fellow Uber drivers,” according to the complaint.
     But New York law prohibits drivers from using their cell phones while driving.
     Uber drivers are then forced to act like “predatory drivers racing to win fares with their eyes on their phones instead of the road,” according to the complaint.
     The lawsuit also claims Uber’s screening of its drivers are lax.
     “Defendants’ background check process is highly vulnerable to error and gives consumers little protection from drivers that may pose a threat to their safety,” the lawsuit states.
     Yellow-cab and black-car drivers, meanwhile, are required to meet several requirements that include passing a drug test, getting a doctor’s note certifying their medical aptness, and a criminal background check.
     Plaintiff XYZ also says Uber poaches its drivers.
     “Defendants do not employ drivers or own, lease or operate any commercial vehicles,” according to the complaint. “Instead, defendants intentionally seek out, recruit and entice drivers who are already affiliated with other ground transportation companies (such as plaintiffs) to provide services for defendants because it is cheaper than providing training, licensing, and vehicles for new drivers.”
     Uber has been sued 32 times this year; seven of them were class-action lawsuits.
     “While we are still in the process of reviewing the matter and have not yet been served, Uber will vigorously defend the rights of riders and drivers to have choice and competition,” an Uber representative said. “These special interests should spend more time supporting the interests of New York riders and drivers than protecting their profits.”
     Also sued were Weiter LLC; Hinter LLC; Grun LLC; Unter LLC; Schmecken LLC; and Danach-NY LLC.
     The car services are represented by Lisa Solbakken with Arkin Solbakken LLP in Manhattan.

%d bloggers like this: