Class action experts Maurice Blackburn Lawyers will expand its class action against Uber nationwide, with the Victorian Supreme Court claim to now also encompass taxi and hire car drivers, operators and licence owners in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.
The action is similar to that currently in its infancy in London and is also being funded by litigation experts Habour.
The expansion to states outside of Victoria will mean thousands more who had their livelihoods drastically impacted by Uber’s allegedly illegal operation will now be able to seek redress, with the total claim likely to dwarf any previous class action recovery in Australia’s history, if successful. From today, drivers from New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia can register to join their Victorian counterparts in taking on Uber, by completing a simple online form. Senior Associate at Maurice Blackburn, Elizabeth O’Shea, said there were no out of pocket costs or liability risk for registrants, with the case costs being underwritten by the third party litigation funder Habour. “Uber sells a notion that it’s just here to do things differently, but in reality and as we will allege, different has meant operating unlawfully and that has caused extensive loss and damage to law-abiding taxi and hire car operators and licence holders across the country,” Ms O’Shea said. “It was Uber that came in and exploited people by operating outside of regulations, it was Uber’s conduct that led to decimating losses suffered by our group members and for those reasons it is the multi-billion dollar company Uber and its associated entities that we are targeting in order to provide redress to those affected. “This class action will likely be one of the biggest in Australia on any measure – the number of people involved, the potential recovery of compensation for law-abiding operators and licence holders, and no doubt the extent of the fight we are anticipating from the defendants. “We have a proud history of running the nation’s largest and toughest class actions and we believe that this is the best mechanism to pursue some meaningful form of justice and compensation for those who have had their lives turned upside down by Uber’s alleged illegal operation in Victoria, NSW, Qld and WA. Maurice Blackburn is Australia’s leading class action law firm, having recovered more than $2.6 billion for victims of mass wrongs since 1998. The firm is responsible for the nation’s largest class action recoveries. As mentioned the proposed action is backed by Harbour Litigation Funding Limited, a leading global funder with hubs in the UK and Asia-Pacific. “There are thousands of taxi and hire care operators and licence holders in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia and we anticipate strong interest from those that have felt the impact of Uber’s alleged unlawful entry into the Australian market, in addition to the 1000+ registrants already in Victoria alone,” Ms O’Shea said.