Judge Questions Size Of Lyft California Class Action

Image courtesy of Ben Schumin

The proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit against ride-hailing app Lyft is quite modest compared to what the drivers initially sought: they’re getting about fifty bucks each, and Lyft has agreed to not remove drivers from the platform with no warning and without cause. Now the judge in that case is questioning the settlement, mostly because Lyft has grown significantly in California just in the time that the case has been going through the courts.

The suit was originally filed in 2013, but includes only drivers for Lyft in California. Attorneys representing the drivers negotiated the settlement of $12.25 million based on the number of drivers in June 2015, not now. A new calculation shows that the total amount that Lyft would owe drivers for vehicle expense reimbursement if they had been employees is almost double the amount calculated based on the number of drivers in June.

That wouldn’t matter if Lyft hadn’t grown significantly in the last few months, and the period covered in the class action will include that rapid growth. “Shouldn’t you have estimated what the value would be through the entire class period?” the judge asked attorneys for the drivers.

Most drivers are fine with the deal, and the attorneys agree that it’s pretty fair. Five drivers have filed their objection to the settlement, and so has the Teamsters union, which represents taxi drivers in some cities. They say that the class shouldn’t settle for anything less than being granted employee status.

U.S. judge questions Lyft settlement over driver benefits [Reuters]

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