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Taxi companies federal lawsuit against Uber and Lyft can proceed

Part of it, anyway.

Lyft

Taxi companies in Houston and San Antonio that took their turf war with two online companies to federal court by accusing Uber and Lyft of operating illegally and skimming money from cab firms can continue pursuing their lawsuit, a U.S. district court judge in Houston ruled this week.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore decided Tuesday that several issues remain in dispute that require additional consideration and, possibly, a trial.

Her order dismissed all of the taxi companies’ claims except for allegations that related to false advertising – namely, Uber and Lyft’s assertions to the public about their insurance coverages and Lyft’s claims of a donation-based payment model.

Uber

“Plaintiffs have adequately pleaded that Uber’s statement’s regarding insurance could have been false or misleading … because the type of insurance policy held by Uber is not the same as that held by cab companies,” the 39-page order said. “Lyft lacks commercial auto insurance like cab companies.”

Lyft’s assertions about its charges also need more scrutiny, Gilmore determined.

“Lyft represents that it operates on donations alone,” the order said, but found that the taxi companies adequately argued that Lyft drivers can screen passengers and that the company’s mobile app warns that consumers who consistently make donations are more likely to obtain a ride.

See here and here for the background. There was another lawsuit filed by disability activists over accessibility issues; I have no idea where that stands. Given that it’s been almost a year from the initial filing of this lawsuit until this ruling, I figure it’ll take awhile before anything else happens. Who knows, perhaps a new state law will change the nature of this lawsuit further.

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