Mobile

Uber & Lyft sued by legion of cab companies after launching in Connecticut

Image Credit: Uber, Harrison Weber/VentureBeat
NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Uber and Lyft are parasites, 14 local cab companies are claiming in a new lawsuit.

Less than a month after Uber and Lyft launched their ride-sharing services in Connecticut, 14 local cab and car companies yesterday filed a collective lawsuit against the startups in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut. The suit, unique for the number of transportation companies involved, alleges that Uber and Lyft “prey parasitically on established taxi and livery services.”

The plaintiffs, following the rhetoric of countless other transportation-startup lawsuits, claim the companies are “lying” to customers, “forcing taxi and livery drivers who sign up to violate licensing laws and contracts with vehicle owners, and discriminating unlawfiilly [sic] against handicapped, elderly and less wealthy users of public transportation.”

Key to this lawsuit and many others is Uber’s network of drivers, who function as independent contractors, or small businesses — not employees. Such a system allows Uber to function as a technology layer for these contractors; the two companies “own no cars, no certificates, no permits, no plates, and employ no drivers,” the lawsuit states.

In short, the Defendants prefer to pay nothing for infrastructure and profit from the investment of lawful certificate, permit, and plate users … The Defendants adopt illegal methods because they can only operate profitably by misappropriating the infrastructure of existing taxi and livery services. There are dozens of smart phone taxi dispatching apps, any one of which could — if they chose to operate illegally — beat the Defendants at their own game.

Uber and Lyft’s ongoing legal battles are the result of the firms’ entrance into a highly regulated industry with little legal protection for non-traditional transportation services. The rapid rate at which both companies have expanded is fueling the litigious flame.

Uber now faces roughly 14 lawsuits in the U.S., while Lyft, smaller in size, faces roughly half that number, according to legal documents obtained by VentureBeat.

The legal complaints, in full:

More information:

Uber Technologies Inc is known as Everyone's Private Driver. Uber operates an on-demand car service used all over the world. With the touch of a button from your phone, you can experience your own private driver. Sign-up quickly, g... read more »

Lyft is a friendly, safe, and affordable transportation option. Just tap a button and in minutes you’ll be riding in the front seat with a new friend. Our Lyft community drivers have been background checked and personality screened t... read more »

Powered by VBProfiles

18 comments
Todd Conway
Todd Conway

technology and innovation will prevail!

kelevrium
kelevrium

@axelcureno Obvio wey, afectarías directo a los taxistas y por ende a toda la economía local.

Luke Hester
Luke Hester

Used Uber in Ohio last week and it was awesome.

Melanie Nichols
Melanie Nichols

Screw the cab companies! Was going to use one the other night. Driver said no credit card (despite having a stick on his window) and $10 minimum fare. He was pretty much begging me to use Uber!

Wendy Sue Buckleman
Wendy Sue Buckleman

You become a member of Uber right, you have to fill in a form to use it with personal information like a private club? However, if your future customers are members it is sometimes better to negotiate to join in, for all their members who might include all the people who don't like to stand out on street corners at night yelling into their smart phone to someone who knew enough English to just get the job. I Googled Stamford, CT and I could not easily find a cab that I could order without attempting an attention attracting phone conversation.

Zach Petersen
Zach Petersen

Cab companies have unionized and regulated themselves into a corner. They cant innovate and have no interest in fixing their customer service problem.

Isica Lynn
Isica Lynn

The reason Uber and Lyft have found success is because people are so underserved and unsatisfied with the poor service offered by the cab companies. Instead of litigating, these cab companies should innovate their offerings to keep up with what the market wants and will pay for.