Plan Insurance Blog

London’s Black Cab Drivers Sue Uber For Millions

London’s iconic black cab drivers are gearing up for a legal battle against ride-hailing giant Uber, sparking a multimillion-pound lawsuit that could reshape the landscape of transportation in the UK capital.

The dispute, set to unfold in the High Court, revolves around Uber’s alleged improper acquisition of a license from Transport for London (TfL) back in 2012, a move that black cab drivers claim unfairly diverted business away from them.

With an estimated claim value soaring to a minimum of £250 million, approximately 10,500 black cab drivers could be in line for compensation of up to £25,000 each, according to RGL Management, the company spearheading the litigation. Drivers from all walks of life, including retirees, who operated between June 2012 and mid-March 2018 are being invited to join forces in seeking restitution for what they perceive as lost earnings due to Uber’s operations.

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A Legal Tug-of-War

Uber staunchly defends its lawful presence in London, citing full licensing by TfL and a commitment to its paying customers in London. An Uber spokesperson stated, “These old claims are completely unfounded.” Uber is ”Proud to serve millions of passengers and drivers across the capital.”

Black cab drivers remain resolute in their pursuit of justice. Black cab drivers involved in the proceedings emphasise their belief that Uber needs to be held accountable for its alleged transgressions. This legal saga resuscitates a previous attempt by black taxi drivers to challenge Uber’s practices, stalled temporarily by the pandemic. Cab drivers case centres on an allegation from 2018 that Uber misled TfL about how its operating system worked.

Early in its existence Uber butted up against Transport for London (TfL) in a series of disputes over its operating practices. The regulator refused to renew the Uber’ operator licence in 2017 on the grounds that it did not consider the company’s approach to public safety to be sufficiently robust. Uber took swift remedial action to address a number of the concerns raised and was granted a temporary licence.

The wheels of the British legal system are once again in motion, the outcome remains uncertain, with thousands of eligible drivers yet to join the fray and a cut-off date fast approaching. Yet, the cab trade will be boosted by recent news that Uber reached a mammoth $178 million settlement in a lawsuit by taxi drivers in Australia. The legal case brought by over 8,000 drivers was one of the most successful actions against the ride-sharing giant to date.

As both sides brace for a showdown in a London courtroom, the implications of this legal showdown extend beyond mere monetary compensation. It underscores the ongoing tension between traditional taxi services and disruptive tech-driven innovations, shaping the future landscape of urban mobility in the Capital and beyond.

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