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Gunn v. Uber Technologies, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

January 27, 2017

ANGELA GUNN, Plaintiff,
v.
UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC., TRAVIS KALANICK, Defendants.

          ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

          Mark. J. Dinsmore Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration, Strike Class Allegations and Dismiss the Action. [Dkt. 19.] The Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendants' Motion. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”) must be submitted to arbitration; pending arbitration, Plaintiff's claims against Uber are stayed.

         I. Background Facts

         Plaintiff, Angela Gunn, is an Indiana resident who worked as an Uber driver. At the heart of this case is Plaintiff's contention that Uber misclassifies its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees resulting in the violation of wage payment laws. Plaintiff brings this diversity action on behalf of herself and all other similarly situated persons working as drivers in this district for Defendant Uber Technologies, Inc.

         Uber is a technology company that offers a smartphone application to connect riders looking for transportation to drivers. Defendant Travis Kalanick is the CEO of Uber. Customers use their smartphones to request rides through the Uber app. The request is routed to the locally- available Uber drivers, who use their own vehicles to pick-up and transport customers. The customer pays through the Uber app and the driver is paid directly by Uber for a portion of the fare collected from the customer.

         Prior to using Uber's software to generate leads for riders, potential drivers must enter into the Raiser Software Sublicense & Online Services Agreement (the “Agreement”).[1] To enter the Agreement, Plaintiff had to sign into the Uber app and click the appropriate hyperlink. The Agreement is then presented on the screen and can be reviewed in its entirety by scrolling. There is no time limitation to review the Agreement. To advance past the “Agreement” screen, the driver must first click “YES, I AGREE” and then click “CONFIRM.” After confirming her acceptance of the Agreement, it is automatically transmitted to Plaintiff's personal Driver Portal, where she could review it or print it at any time.

         The Agreement contains an Arbitration Provision, which provides, in relevant part:

Except as it otherwise provides, this Arbitration Provision is intended to apply to the resolution of disputes that otherwise would be resolved in a court of law or before a forum other than arbitration. This Arbitration Provision requires all such disputes to be resolved only by an arbitrator through final and binding arbitration on an individual basis only and not by way of court or jury trial, or by way of class, collective, or representative action.
Such disputes include without limitation disputes arising out of or relating to interpretation or application of this Arbitration Provision, including the enforceability, revocability or validity of the Arbitration Provision or any portion of the Arbitration Provision. All such matters shall be decided by an Arbitrator and not by a court or judge.
Except as it otherwise provides, this Arbitration Provision also applies, without limitation, to disputes arising out of or related to this Agreement and disputes arising out of or related to your relationship with [Uber/Raiser], including termination of the relationship.

         [Dkt. 20-1 at 25 (emphasis in original).][2]

         Once a driver accepts the Agreement, she may still opt out of the Arbitration Provision. The Agreement provides:

Arbitration is not a mandatory condition of your contractual relationship with the Company. If you do not want to be subject to this Arbitration Provision, you may opt out of this Arbitration Provision by notifying the Company in writing of your desire to opt out of this Arbitration Provision, either by (1) sending, within 30 days of the date this Agreement is executed by you, electronic mail to optout@uber.com, stating your name and intent to opt out of the Arbitration Provision or (2) by sending a letter ...

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