Earlier today, Corte Madera-based attorney Gary Oswald filed a class action lawsuit against Uber. The suit argues that the startup’s operations in San Francisco are illegal, because Uber is allegedly “acting as a taxicab company while sometimes denying this fact in order to avoid all regulations governing taxicab companies.”
In response, Uber just sent out a brief statement from its attorney John Quinn claiming that the company “complies with all laws and regulations applicable to its business,” calling the lawsuit “baseless,” and claiming that it’s willing to defend itself in court.
The company is currently facing regulatory battles on a number of fronts — for example, it’s trying to muster opposition to proposed regulations that would shut down its black car service in Chicago, and it also blames (though without details) New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission for the shutdown of its NYC taxi service. And long with Lyft and Sidecar, it just got cited and fined by the California Public Utilities Commission.
In fact, back in 2010, the company changed its name from UberCab in response to cease-and-desist letters from the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority & the Public Utilities Commission of California. The company dropped the “cab” part of the name to distance itself from the accusation that it’s running a taxi service.
Here’s the full statement from Uber:
In just over two years, Uber has provided a convenient, popular transportation option to tens of thousands of San Franciscans and a new source of income to thousands of drivers and their families. Uber complies with all laws and regulations applicable to its business. Any claim to the contrary is baseless and motivated by those who seek to deprive the public of this safe and convenient transportation option. Uber would rather compete for business on the streets of San Francisco than in the courtroom, but Uber will defend these claims in court and is confident of the outcome.
Most of the company’s legal battles are fought against politicians and regulatory agencies (though presumably with some pressure from the taxi industry). In this case, the lawsuit was brought by “duly licensed and permitted cab drivers” Leonid Goncharov and Mohammed Eddine, ”individually and on behalf of others similarly situated.” You can read the full complaint below.