The Victorian Hire Car Association (VHCA) has provided the following update on a proposed class action being investigated by Maurice Blackburn recently reported in the media.
What is the investgation about?
The VHCA, on behalf of entities in the Victorian Taxi and Hire Car industry, has instructed Maurice Blackburn*, to investigate allegations that from 2013 until midway through 2017 when new legislation came into effect, Uber was operating unlawfully, which caused extensive loss and damage to law-abiding taxi and hire car operators, licence holders and drivers.
Maurice Blackburn will argue that Uber was subject to the same regulations that taxi drivers and hire car drivers were. If their investigation reveals that Uber’s entry to the market involved unlawful conduct, there may be grounds for a Class Action to recover losses on the part of those affected.
It is the first proposed case of its type in Australia, with Canada the only other jurisdiction to pursue similar action.
How do class actions work?
Where seven or more people have claims that arise out of similar circumstances (such as in this case), a class action can be brought by one claimant on their own behalf and as a representative of others.
A class action is the most efficient and risk-free method for many smaller claims to be brought against a large and powerful organisation, enabling you to participate in a court proceeding without the ongoing personal exposure to costs and liability.
How much does it cost to be part of the class action?
Nothing. Harbour Litigation Funding Limited is taking the financial risk and backing the investigation into the claim that Uber ignored the law, encouraged Uber drivers to ignore the law – therefore effectively destroying your income.
In the event of a successful outcome, any costs payable to either Maurice Blackburn or the funder will be deducted from, and will not exceed, any compensation from Uber (and associated entities) that you are entitled to receive.
What will it cost if proceedings are not successful?
Nothing. Under the terms of the Funding Agreement, if our case proceeds and is unsuccessful, any adverse costs order which may be made will be paid by the litigation funder, Harbour.
How likely is it the class action will go ahead?
The investigation is still ongoing. The proposed class action will only proceed if enough claimants register and on the satisfactory completion of investigations being carried out by Maurice Blackburn.
TAXI and HIRE CAR OWNERS and DRIVERS can register for the potential Class Action at www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/uberclassaction.
How do I register?
The Maurice Blackburn portal (online information questionnaire) will require you to input basic information that enables Maurice Blackburn to verify some of your personal information, such as your Tax File Number(s), ABN, ACN, licence details, driver accreditation details, losses value, etc.
The information remains confidential and is required in order to process a meaningful claim on behalf of each individual and the group as a whole.
If you have any queries about supplying any of the required information, Maurice Blackburn personnel are happy to talk you through it or answer particular queries.
Spread the word
Circulate this notice to all taxi and hire car owners, operators and drivers and ask them to register too.
If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Maurice Blackburn via email Uber@mauriceblackburn.com.au or phone 1800 291 047.
* Maurice Blackburn is Australia’s leading Class Action law firm, having recovered more than $2.5billion for victims of mass wrongs since 1998. The firm is responsible for the nation’s largest Class Action recoveries. The proposed action is backed by Harbour Litigation Funding Limited, a leading global funder with hubs in the UK and Asia-Pacific.
Please note this email does not constitute legal advice. The VTA does not guarantee or offer any warrantee for the potential action. This email is simply intended to inform industry [articipants about the opportunity to participate or seek further information.