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Case Name Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco v. Uber Technologies DR-CA-0058
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-06503 ( N.D. Cal. )
Additional Docket(s) RG18894507  [ 18-894507 ]  Trial Court (CA)
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
The plaintiffs in this federal class action in California are disabled individuals who use motorized wheelchairs. They claim that Uber discriminated against them by failing to take adequate steps to provide the same reliable on-demand transportation services to individuals who use wheelchair ... read more >
The plaintiffs in this federal class action in California are disabled individuals who use motorized wheelchairs. They claim that Uber discriminated against them by failing to take adequate steps to provide the same reliable on-demand transportation services to individuals who use wheelchair accessible vehicles. The plaintiffs allege that Uber's wait times for wheelchair accessible vehicles are up to twelve times longer than wait times for non accessible vehicles. The plaintiffs also claim that wheelchair accessible vehicles cannot be booked in advance the way other vehicles can.

On October 24, 2018, a class of individuals who are disabled because of a mobility impairment, Independent Living Resources San Francisco, and Community Resources for Independent Living, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued Uber Technologies under the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title III), the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, and California Disabled Person Act. Represented by Disability Rights Advocates and private counsel, they sought class certification, declarative, and injunctive relief. The complaint alleged that Uber had systematically discriminated against persons in the Bay Area with mobility impairments by not offering adequate services for those using motorized wheelchairs. Specifically, it claimed that while Uber ostensibly offers wheelchair accessible services in the form of UberWAV, the option is either unavailable or takes on average five times longer than normal alternatives, making it an ineffective component of Uber’s transportation system. The plaintiffs sought class certification, declaratory relief, a permanent injunction, and costs and attorney's fees.

The plaintiffs had filed a substantially similar case in Alameda County Superior Court in February 2018. The Alameda court dismissed the complaint without leave to amend on September 24, 2018. This lawsuit followed.

The federal case was initially assigned to Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers but then Judge Richard Seeborg issued an order relating this case to another case assigned to him, Crawford v. Uber Technologies, Inc., 17-cv-02664-RS. In Crawford, an individual plaintiff sued Uber for violating the ADA. bench trial is scheduled for October 4, 2021. This case was officially reassigned to Judge Seeborg in January 2019.

Uber filed a motion to compel arbitration in February 2019, claiming that the plaintiffs were bound by Uber's Terms of Use. The plaintiffs did not use Uber themselves, but Uber claimed that they dispatched agents to test the service for them. In May 2019, Judge Seeborg denied the motion to compel arbitration, but granted Uber limited discovery to determine if there was an agency relationship between the plaintiffs and people who used Uber's wheelchair accessible vehicle service. Uber was also allowed to engage in discovery to determine if the testers agreed to Uber's mandatory arbitration clause. In July 2019, Judge Seeborg granted Uber's renewed motion to compel arbitration. Judge Seeborg determined that the testers were acting as agents of the plaintiffs, that the testers agreed to the mandatory arbitration clause in Uber's terms of service, and that the plaintiffs were bound by the arbitration agreement to the same extent as their agents. The case was stayed while the parties undergo arbitration. 2019 WL 3430656.

As of May 2020, the case is open but stayed.

Carter Powers Beggs - 02/20/2020
Sabrina Glavota - 05/25/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Transportation
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Disparate Treatment
Reasonable Accommodations
Transportation
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
State law
Defendant(s) Uber Technologies, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Class of individuals in Alameda and San Francisco Counties who are disabled due to mobility impairments and use wheelchairs Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco - disability rights organization
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 10/24/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
RG18894507 (State Trial Court)
DR-CA-0058-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/27/2018
Source: Bloomberg Law
3:18-cv-06503 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0058-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/30/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive Declaratory Relief
DR-CA-0058-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/27/2018
Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-CA-0058-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/24/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 23]
DR-CA-0058-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/11/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion to Compel Arbitration, Denying Motion for Leave to Amend, and Denying Discovery Motions [ECF# 48] (2019 WL 3430656) (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0058-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/30/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Seeborg, Richard G. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-0004 | DR-CA-0058-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Becker, Nance F. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-9001
Chavez, Mark A. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-9001
Riess, Melissa (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-9001
Seaborn, Stuart (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-0003 | DR-CA-0058-9001
Serbin, Rebecca Catherine (New York) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-9001
Wolinsky, Sidney (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-0001 | DR-CA-0058-0002 | DR-CA-0058-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Estevez, Anne Marie (Florida) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-9001
Gao, Kathy Hua (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-9001
Schuster, Stephanie (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0058-9001

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