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Judge delays ruling on proposed settlement in Uber case

Uber says it will start using self-driving cars to give rides in Pittsburgh.
Uber says it will start using self-driving cars to give rides in Pittsburgh.
(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

A District Court judge won’t rule on a proposed settlement that could reach $100 million in a class-action case between Uber and drivers for the ride-hailing company until both sides provide more information.

Judge Edward Chen said there was still hope the settlement could be approved in the case, in which drivers for the company are seeking to be treated as employees rather than independent contractors.

He said neither side properly explained why the settlement terms, which include monetary payout and changes to Uber’s deactivation and tipping rules, are adequate given the broad claims made against the company in the lawsuit.

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In an email to The Times, Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lead plaintiff attorney, said she plans to respond to Chen’s questions. Uber declined to comment.

“This judge is certainly looking at this thing with a fine-tooth comb especially because there’s so much publicity to it,” said Todd Scherwin, a labor attorney at Fisher & Phillips who is not involved in the case.

The proposed settlement starts at $84 million, but calls for paying drivers an additional $16 million if the company’s valuation reaches 1.5 times its current value after it goes public or if it gets bought.

That discrepancy could raise questions, Scherwin said.

“I think the biggest issue is the uncertainty between the $100 million and the $84 million. That’s a lot of money to be advocated and a lot of uncertainty to it.”


UPDATES:

4:15 p.m.: This article was updated with comment from labor attorney Todd Scherwin.

This article was originally published at 3:43 p.m.


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