Legal Roundup: Uber’s $2 Million+ Settlement, Amazon Sues Facebook and More
Uber Settles with Disabled Passengers For $2M+
The Case: In November 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a discrimination suit against Uber in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The DOJ alleged that disabled passengers were overcharged because it took them more than two minutes to get into a car, triggering an excessive wait time fee, according to Reuters. The rideshare company was accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Scorecard: Uber has settled with the DOJ and will pay out over $2 million.
Takeaway: The DOJ announced that “as part of a two-year agreement, Uber will waive wait time fees for certified disabled riders and pay more than $1,738,500 to more than 1,000 riders who complained about the charges and $500,000 to others harmed by the practice,” according to Reuters.
Uber will also credit the accounts of more than 65,000 riders.
MLB Settles Minor League Wage Dispute for $185M
The Case: A class-action suit filed against Major League Baseball and all 30 M.L.B. teams in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleged that “players were not paid for any time spent outside of the championship season, including time spent working out during the off-season, and their pay, once all of their time was accounted for, was generally below minimum wage,” according to The New York Times.
The district court denied class status to the Arizona, Florida, and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) classes. Plaintiffs in Senne, et al. v. Kansas City Royals Baseball, et al. appealed.
The case went before the Ninth Circuit Court, and was appealed to the Supreme Court, which declined to review the lower court’s class certification.
Scorecard: MLB will pay $185 million to settle the case.
Takeaway: The class includes around 23,000 players, each receiving $5,000 to $5,500, “but the real significance of the agreement may be in how minor league players are compensated in the future, which will be up to M.L.B.,” per the NYT.
“Under the proposed agreement, which still needs to be approved by the judge in the case,” the NYT reported, “M.L.B. must formally notify all clubs that they can no longer prohibit teams from paying players during spring training, extended spring training or any work period that is not during the championship season, which includes the regular season and the playoffs.”
Amazon Sues Facebook Admins Over Fake Reviews
The Case: Amazon has filed suit against Facebook administrators in King County Superior Court to stop “what it says are more than 10,000 Facebook groups used to coordinate fake reviews of Amazon products,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon alleges that the fake reviews, which are against company rules, may result in free products or money for reviewers. The reviews may also increase product ratings and therefore the likelihood of purchase.
Scorecard: The case was recently filed and has not reached a resolution.
Takeaway: The names and locations of the administrators have not been disclosed. The WSJ pointed out a group called “Amazon Product Review” that had over 43,000 members.
“Facebook removed the group earlier this year,” according to the WSJ. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has been trying to take action against sham reviews.
In 2019, lawmakers “questioned Amazon’s efforts to tackle fake reviews in a letter to then-Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.”
Also in 2019, the Federal Trade Commission fined a website “that paid a third party to post reviews on Amazon, in its first case against the use of fake paid reviews,” per the WSJ. &