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This Week in Rideshare: Medical Bills, Alto, and Hiked Fees

— January 8, 2021

Lyft says no, Alto drives to Cali and DoorDash customers pay more. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

From surprise medical bills to broken promises, it’s all here in This Week in Rideshare.

MONDAY 1/4/21

When a Lyft passenger got buried in medical bills after an accident, Lyft told him they wouldn’t help. CBS Denver explains:

Brian Fritts was riding in the back of a Lyft ride share when it was involved in a hit-and-run rollover crash. However, Lyft allegedly declined to take any responsibility for the more than $173,000 in medical bills he now has.

With mounting medical bills Fritts expected Lyft to cover them. However, when his attorney Eric Faddis sought compensation Lyft declined to pay. After investigating the claim, Faddis learned there may be a legislative loophole which Lyft could hide behind.

TUESDAY 1/5/21

Uber’s Terms and Conditions hit a wall on Tuesday after the Massachusetts Supreme Court stepped in. Ars Technica explains:

But on appeal, Kauders’ lawyers argued that he had never agreed to arbitration in the first place. On Monday, the highest state court in Massachusetts accepted Kauders’ argument, holding that merely mentioning terms and conditions on a registration page wasn’t sufficient to create a binding contract between Kauders and Uber.

“Uber’s terms and conditions did not constitute a contract with the plaintiffs,” the high court wrote (another woman had also sued Uber). The case was sent back down to the lower court.


Texas-based ride-hailing startup, Alto, lands in California. Dot.LA explains:

The move into L.A. marks Alto’s first expansion outside of Texas, where it launched in 2016. The venture-backed company, which has so far raised $20.5 million, announced plans to begin operations in California last fall but the team rescheduled when coronavirus cases began to rise again.


As millions of drivers struggle through the pandemic, it seems New York state is falling short on delivering the help that’s due. NY Post explains:

In documents filed in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday, the New York Taxi Worker Alliance said at least 497 of its members had yet to receive unemployment payments the state claims to have fulfilled in December.

The group accused the state of dragging its feet on delivering payments owed to drivers after a judge ruled earlier this year that drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft are eligible for COVID-19 jobless benefits.

FRIDAY 1/8/21

DoorDash Security Breach Affects Millions of Customers
Photo by Marina Zaharkina on Unsplash

DoorDash is hiking its fees, but the money is unlikely to go to its drivers. Vice reported:

The company-funded Yes on Prop 22 campaign claimed that not passing the ballot initiative would result in higher prices for consumers, and in early December, news first broke that gig companies would be charging more anyway to cover the cost of benefits promised in Prop 22 such as a healthcare stipend and a minimum pay guarantee. It’s also not clear whether these new benefits warrant price hikes as an October 2019 study by the Berkeley Labor Center of Proposition 22 found that driver pay would come out to $5.64 an hour.

DoorDash also has a history of passing the costs of regulation on to customers. In November, San Mateo County introduced a 15 percent commission cap, which DoorDash responded to with a $2 “San Mateo County Fee.” In September, Fresno’s City Council introduced a 15 percent cap to help restaurants struggling during the pandemic, leading to DoorDash adding a $1 “Fresno Fee” on orders in the city.

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