Uber Settles $178 Million Legal Dispute with Australian Taxi Drivers

Uber Legal Dispute Australian Drivers
Uber has agreed to pay 272 million Australian dollars ($178 million) to resolve a prolonged legal dispute with Australian taxi and hire car drivers who were adversely affected by the company’s entry into the Australian market.

The resolution comes as a settlement to a class action lawsuit brought by 8,000 taxi and hire car drivers, represented by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. Initially slated for trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the case has been dropped following Uber’s agreement to the financial terms.

Michael Donelly, principal lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, highlighted the financial losses incurred by drivers and car owners when Uber aggressively entered the market in 2012. He noted Uber’s consistent avoidance of compensating those affected, stating, “Uber has blinked on the courtroom steps after years of refusing to do the right thing by those we say they harmed, and thousands of everyday Australians joined together to stare down a global giant.”

In response, Uber characterized the grievances of the taxi industry as “legacy issues,” emphasizing that rideshare regulations were non-existent globally when the company commenced operations over a decade ago. The statement from Uber underscored the positive impact of ridesharing on Australia’s overall point-to-point transport industry, citing increased consumer choice, enhanced experiences, and new earning opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Australian workers.

Furthermore, Uber noted its contributions to various state-level taxi compensation schemes since 2018 and positioned the proposed settlement as a decisive step in moving past these legacy issues.

This settlement marks the fifth-largest class action settlement in Australia’s history and comes five years after the commencement of legal action.

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