Uber pays $178 million to settle lawsuit with taxi drivers in Australia | technology

The law firm behind the class action says the result was among the most successful legal actions ever taken against the ride-sharing giant.

Uber has agreed to pay $178 million to settle a lawsuit with taxi and rental car drivers in Australia who say they lost profits due to the ride-hailing app, a law firm has announced.

Lawyers for Maurice Blackburn, who filed the class action on behalf of more than 8,000 taxi and car rental owners and drivers in 2019, said the outcome was one of the most successful legal actions ever taken against the ride-sharing giant.

“Uber has fought tooth and nail at every point along the way, every day, for the past five years, and has tried at every turn to deny our group members any form of remedy or compensation for their losses,” lead attorney Maurice Blackburn said. Michael Donnelly said in a statement on Monday.

“But on the courtroom steps, after years of refusing to do the right thing by those we say have harmed them, Uber has backed down, and thousands of ordinary Australians have banded together to stare down a global giant.”

“This will be one of the five largest class-action settlements in Australian legal history, putting beyond doubt that Uber has been held accountable for its actions,” Donnelly added.

Uber said it has made “significant” contributions to several nationwide taxi compensation plans since 2018, and that the settlement puts “these legacy issues in our past.”

“When Uber started more than a decade ago, ride-sharing regulations did not exist anywhere in the world, let alone Australia. Today is different, and Uber is now regulated in every state and territory across Australia,” the company said in a statement. “And governments recognize us as an important part of the country’s transportation mix.”

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“The rise of ridesharing has grown Australia's overall point-to-point transportation industry, bringing with it greater choice and improved consumer experiences, as well as new earnings opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Australian workers.”

The company added that Uber will continue to focus on helping the millions of Australians who use the service “to get from point A to point B in a safe, affordable and reliable way.”

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