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Uber Finally Ready to be Called to Task: Respondeat Superior

  • Published: June 26, 2015

In a recent court ruling against Uber, the multi-billion dollar ride-sharing company, Judge Edward M. Chen ruled that Uber drivers may potentially be classified as employees rather than as contractors as Uber would wish. This was originally as part of a class action suit on behalf of Uber’s drivers but could have much farther reaching consequences than that.

Uber has been ignoring public safety and getting away with it under the theory that its drivers are contractors. It has ignored mandated background check and drug testing laws require its drivers to carry only $50,000 dollars’ worth of insurance per injury and 100,000 dollars per ride and has successfully avoided responsibility for a variety of mishaps including

  • Uber drivers running over and killing pedestrians
  • Uber drivers severely injuring passengers through negligent driving
  • Uber drivers assaulting and in one case raping,

Uber has largely avoided the consequences so far, in part because its drivers have not been recognized as employees, but, perhaps, not anymore.

If Uber’s drivers are legally classified as employees, Uber can be sued directly under a “Respondeat Superior” theory. Respondeat Superior means, in part, that an employer can be held liable for many of the actions of their employees performed within the course of their employment. And if you or a loved one has been injured by an Uber driver, Abronson Law Offices stands ready to assist.