Uber Agrees To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Safety Claims

by Mike Isaac, New York TImes




Uber has agreed to pay $28.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that took issue with the company’s claims that its driver background checks were “industry leading.”

The terms of the settlement, filed on Thursday in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California, require Uber to pay roughly 25 million riders across the United States and to reword the language around the fee that the company charges for each ride.

Uber will rename the fee, called the “safe ride fee,” to a “booking fee.” The ride-hailing company said it would use the fee to “cover safety as well as additional operational costs that could arise in the future.” Lyft, a main Uber rival, has made a similar change, Uber said.

“No means of transportation can ever be 100 percent safe. Accidents and incidents do happen,” Uber said in a statement. “That’s why it’s important to ensure that the language we use to describe safety at Uber is clear and precise.”

The settlement brings to a close a suit that was filed by Matthew Philliben and Byron McKnight in 2014 over whether Uber misrepresented the level of scrutiny it uses when recruiting drivers, who must pass background checks conducted through a third-party service.

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