Ortega v. Uber Technologies, Inc

www.ortegaubersettlement.com


Frequently Asked Questions

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1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE NOTICE?

You received the notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement. You have the ability to participate in the settlement, or you may decline to do so.

The notice explains the process required for informing the attorneys and the Court of your decision. The notice also explains the process the Court has put in place for deciding whether to approve the settlement, and for administering the settlement if it is approved.

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2. WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?

Plaintiffs Jose Ortega and Joce Martinez (“Plaintiffs”), who provided transportation services arranged using the Uber App, filed a putative class action lawsuit against Defendants, asserting, among other things, wage and hour claims under the New York Labor Law, a common law claim for breach of contract, and a claim for false advertising, on behalf of themselves and other transportation providers in New York State (“drivers”).

Plaintiffs premised their breach of contract claim on the theory that Defendants allegedly (i) inflated the service fee charged to drivers by: including sales tax and Black Car Fund fees “in the fare instead of calculating the fare net of such charges,” allegedly causing drivers to pay an inflated service fee contrary to their agreements with Defendants; (ii) failed to remit taxes and fees, including sales tax and Black Car Fund fees to drivers; and (iii) failed to remit to drivers “the total proceeds of all gratuities” received.

Plaintiffs premised their false advertising claim on the theory that some of Defendants’ advertising materials have been misleading insofar as they allegedly “offer guaranteed compensation without disclosing the actual conditions imposed,” and that Defendants allegedly failed to remit “guaranteed payments promised” in the advertisements.

Defendants strenuously deny the allegations in the lawsuit, and maintain that they did not violate any laws with respect to Plaintiff Ortega, Settlement Class Members, or Plaintiff Martinez, whose claims were ordered to individual arbitration.

The Court did not decide which side was right. Both sides agreed to a settlement to resolve the Action, and to avoid further disputes, inconvenience, and expense. The settlement is not to be construed as or deemed an admission of liability, culpability, negligence, or wrongdoing on the part of Defendants.

Defendants do not discourage your participation in the settlement, and will not take any retaliatory action against you for participating or not participating in the settlement.

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3. WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT?

All individuals who (i) have provided transportation services arranged using the Uber App within the State of New York at any time between December 29, 2009 and May 25, 2018, and (ii) purported to opt-out of arbitration, or whose most recent agreement with Defendants and/or the Released Parties otherwise does not contain an arbitration provision, as determined by Defendants’ records, excluding individuals who exclusively provided transportation services arranged using Uber’s “UberTAXI” product.

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4. WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT? HOW WILL MY SHARE OF THE SETTLEMENT BE CALCULATED?

Defendants have agreed to create a settlement fund of three-million dollars ($3,000,000.00). Before Settlement Class Members are paid, however, the following amounts may be removed from the settlement fund:

  • Attorneys’ Fees and Costs: Class Counsel will apply to the Court for recovery of fees not to exceed one third of the settlement fund, and costs not to exceed twenty-nine thousand fifty-five dollars ($29,055.00).
  • Service Payment: The gross amount of two-thousand dollars ($2,000.00) will be paid to Plaintiff Ortega as a Service Payment, in recognition of the services he contributed on behalf of the Settlement Class.
  • Plaintiff Ortega’s Individual Settlement Payment: The gross amount of one-thousand dollars ($1,000.00) will be paid to Plaintiff Ortega, in exchange for his general release of claims.
  • Settlement Expenses: The cost of administering this Settlement (sending this notice, re-sending it, sending the checks, etc.) is estimated to be twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00).

If the Court approves all of these fees and payments, approximately $1,942,945.00 would remain in the settlement fund to pay Settlement Class Members based on the following formula. The individual Settlement Payment for each Settlement Class Member shall be determined by: (i) allocating to any Settlement Class Member who completed a trip and/or received payment for a completed trip in New York State at any time between December 29, 2012, through May 25, 2018 (which coincides with the statute of limitations period applicable to Plaintiff Ortega’s false advertising claim), as determined by Defendants’ records, a flat amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00); and then (ii) taking (a) the remaining amount of the settlement fund, (b) divided by the total amount of New York State sales tax and Black Car fund fees charged for rides personally completed by all Settlement Class Members at any time from December 29, 2009, through May 25, 2018, as determined by Defendants’ records, (c) multiplied by the amount of New York State sales tax and Black Car Fund fees charged for rides that each Settlement Class Member personally completed during this time period, as determined by Defendants’ records, and allocating those amounts accordingly.

Defendants’ records indicate that $_________ in New York State sales tax and Black Car Fund fees were charged for rides you personally completed from December 29, 2009, through May 25, 2018. Defendants’ records also indicate that you [DID / DID NOT] complete a trip or receive payment for a completed trip in New York State between December 29, 2012 through May 25, 2018. Your estimated claim at this point is approximately that $_________.

If you believe these figures are incorrect and wish to dispute them, you must contact the Settlement Administrator, and provide any documentation and/or information supporting your contention, no later than August 9, 2018. In the event of a dispute, Defendants’ records will be presumed determinative, but the Parties will evaluate any information and evidence you timely submit to the Settlement Administrator, and then reach a final determination.

The payments made to you from the settlement fund shall be treated as non-wage income and reported on an IRS Form 1099.

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5. WHAT IS THE LEGAL EFFECT OF THE SETTLEMENT?

Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will release Defendants from any claims premised on the theory that Defendants unlawfully failed to remit, withheld, or improperly calculated, all monies, fares, sales tax, Black Car Fund fees, and gratuities allegedly due to you per any contract or agreement between you and Defendants.

You will also release Defendants from any claims for false advertising based on advertisements related to drivers’ use of the Uber App, driver earnings, and earnings “guarantees.”

Specifically, unless you exclude yourself from the settlement, you will fully release Defendants and all affiliated entities, and their past, present, and future parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, predecessors, successors, partners, owners, joint ventures, affiliated organizations, shareholders, insurers, reinsurers and assigns, and each of its/their past, present and future officers, investors, executives, directors, trustees, agents, employees, attorneys, contractors (other than driver partners), representatives, plan fiduciaries and/or administrators, benefits plan sponsored or administered by Defendants or affiliated entities, or divisions, units, branches, and any other persons or entities acting on their behalf, including any party that was or could have been named as a defendant in the Action (the “Released Parties”) from any and all claims, causes of action, assertions of injury or harm, damages, debts, liabilities, demands, obligations, guarantees, liquidated damages, costs (including, but not limited to, settlement administration costs), entitlement to restitution or injunctive or declaratory relief, right to direct or indirect recovery of compensation, expenses, interest, and/or attorneys’ fees, whether suspected or unsuspected, known or unknown, that you have had, now have, or may have in the future against Defendants, the Released Parties or any of them, for acts occurring at any time up to and including May 25, 2018 (i) arising from or related to the claim that Defendants or any of the Released Parties failed to remit all monies, including, without limitation, sales tax, Black Car Fund fees, gratuities, and fares, due to you, withheld payments due to you, or otherwise miscalculated the share of the fares or other amounts paid by riders to which Defendants, the Released Parties, and/or you were entitled, pursuant to any express or implied agreement(s), contract(s), promise(s), or covenant(s), including any and all claims, whether alleged under federal, state or local law, regulation or ordinance, common law or tort, for breach of contract (whether oral, written, implied, express or otherwise), breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, promissory estoppel, unjust enrichment, conversion, unlawful deductions under the New York Labor Law (including any related claims for liquidated damages), or otherwise based on the same or similar facts, allegations and/or theories asserted or that could have been asserted in the Action (including the facts, allegations, and/or theories asserted in the Complaint, First Amended Complaint, and/or Second Amended Complaint in the Action). This includes any and all claims based on similar theories that are or could be asserted in Haider v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., S.D.N.Y. Case No. 16-cv-4098-AKH (“Haider”). This does not include claims asserted in Haider based on Uber’s “upfront pricing” program, or any other claim for unlawful deductions under the New York Labor Law not described above, including based on the theories that Uber unlawfully deducted amounts for vehicle payments and/or other alleged “tools of the trade,” or the service fee drivers pay in exchange for the lead generation services provided to them through the Uber App. This also does not include any claim that, as a result of alleged misclassification of drivers as independent contractors, Defendants or the Released Parties unlawfully failed to provide minimum wage, overtime, or spread-of-hours pay to drivers; and (ii) arising from or related to the claim that Defendants or any of the Released Parties engaged in false or misleading advertising, or deceptive business practices, in connection with advertisements and communications regarding drivers’ use of the Uber App, driver earnings, and earnings “guarantees,” whether arising under federal, state, or local law, including, without limitation, claims under New York General Business Law § 349 et seq., and § 350 et seq.

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6. DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THIS CASE?

The Court has decided that Jonathan Greenbaum, of Coburn & Greenbaum, PLLC, and Philip M. Hines, Marc J. Held, and Scott B. Richman, of Held & Hines LLP, are qualified to represent you and all other Settlement Class Members. These attorneys are called “Class Counsel.” You do not need to hire your own attorney because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

If you have questions or desire additional details, you may call, email or correspond with Class Counsel. Here is the contact information for Class Counsel:

Jonathan Greenbaum COBURN & GREENBAUM, PLLC 1710 Rhode Island Avenue NW 2nd Floor Washington, D.C. 20036 202.657.4490 Philip M. Hines Marc J. Held Scott B. Richman HELD & HINES LLP 2004 Ralph Ave Brooklyn, N.Y. 11234 718.531.9700

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7. HOW DO I OPT-OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT?

To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must have submitted a request for exclusion postmarked by August 9, 2018.

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8. WHAT IF I HAVE AN OBJECTION TO THE SETTLEMENT?

To object to the settlement, you must have submitted a written objection postmarked by August 9, 2018.

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9. WHEN IS THE FINAL FAIRNESS HEARING?

A hearing before the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, U.S.D.J., was held on September 13, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201 (the “Final Fairness Hearing”). The Order Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Final Judgement was filed on September 18, 2018.

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10. HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

The notice does not contain all of the terms of the proposed settlement, or all of the details of these proceedings. For more detailed information, you are advised to refer to the underlying documents and papers on file with the Court, including the Modified Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release. In addition, if you have questions about this notice or need additional information, you can contact the Settlement Administrator or Class Counsel. Finally, additional information, including documents relevant to the Action and the settlement, and Class Counsel’s contact information, can also be accessed on this website. Please forward the link to this website (www.ortegaubersettlement.com) to any individuals you believe to be members of the Settlement Class.

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11. WHY DID I RECEIVE AN EMAIL REQUESTING MY MAILING ADDRESS AND/OR TAX ID?

You received an email because the settlement administrator does not have the information needed to process your settlement check. Please email your address and/or Tax ID number to:

Ortegaquestions@epiqglobal.com

Or you may mail your information to:

Ortega et al v. Technologies, Inc. et al.
c/o Epiq
P.O. Box 10563
Dublin, OH 43017-7263

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12. When did the distribution occur?

The distribution occurred on December 6, 2018.

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13. How was my check calculated?

The amount of your check was determined by applying the Court-approved formula described in the Notice that was previously sent to you.

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14. How can I request for my check to be reissued?

Check reissue requests must be submitted in writing to the Settlement Administrator. Please be sure to include your full name, current address, former address if you need to update your contact information, claim number and a daytime telephone number with the best time to contact you.

You may mail your request to:

Ortega et al v. Technologies, Inc. et al.
c/o Epiq
P.O. Box 10563
Dublin, OH 43017-7263

Or you may email your request to Ortegaquestions@epiqglobal.com.

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15. What tax implications will I have if I receive a payment?

The tax implications and reporting of the payments made to authorized claimants vary between individuals and account types, and we are not able to assist or advise, as this would constitute giving legal advice. Please consult a tax professional for questions about tax implications and reporting.

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16. I received a check on behalf of a deceased individual. How can I have this check reissued?

If you believe you are entitled to act on the decedent’s behalf, please provide a copy of the death certificate and a letter detailing who you are, your relationship to the decedent along with the check you received.

Please also provide documentation which supports your right to act on behalf of the decedent or to accept funds on behalf of the estate.

Acceptable documentation includes but is not limited to Probate Order, Last Will and Testament, an Order appointing you as the Administrator or Executor of the Estate and a small Estate Affidavit.

Please mail these items to:

Ortega et al v. Technologies, Inc. et al.
c/o Epiq
P.O. Box 10563
Dublin, OH 43017-7263

Or email them to Ortegaquestions@epiqglobal.com.

If your request is complete, your check will be reissued as soon as possible.

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17. I did not receive a check. What do I need to do?

If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member and you did not receive your check, you must submit a written request to the Settlement Administrator to have your check issued. Please be sure to include your full name, your current mailing address, your former address if you need to update your contact information, claim number (if available), and a daytime telephone number with the best time to contact you. If you did not previously provide your tax identification number, you must also supply that information in order to prevent backup withholding from your payment.

You may mail your request to:

Ortega et al v. Technologies, Inc. et al.
c/o Epiq
P.O. Box 10563
Dublin, OH 43017-7263

Or email them to Ortegaquestions@epiqglobal.com.

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