Taxi drivers get green light to sue Uber for $300 million
The Uber logo is seen in front of protesting taxi drivers at the Montreal courthouse, on Feb. 2, 2016. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Taxi drivers have won permission to take their fight against Uber to court.
A judge has authorized a $300 million class-action lawsuit against the phone-based ride-hailing service.
Lawyer Carl-Olivier Rouleau said taxi drivers operating under government regulation have lost money as a direct result of Uber's actions.
"Our theory is that the money they are making would have been the taxi's money and that they are taking the revenue of people who comply with the law and that cannot go on anymore," said Rouleau.
Rouleau said 15,000 taxi drivers in Montreal and its suburbs, along with those in the Quebec City area, will be covered by the lawsuit.
The lead plaintiff is Wilson Jean-Paul, a taxi owner and spokesman for the Steelworkers' union which represents about 4,000 taxi drivers.
Taxi drivers tried to stop Uber from operating last year, but in September a judge ruled there were no compelling reasons to ban the company.
Taxi drivers are suing Uber for the loss of revenues they've suffered since Uber began operating in Quebec in 2014.
The provincial government only gave Uber permission to operate in Quebec last year as part of a limited pilot project.
Drivers who wish to join the lawsuit are urged to sign up at http://recourstaxirtam.org.
Lawyers in the class action lawsuit expect Uber to petition to stop the proceedings.
They also expect it will take at least a year before the case goes to trial.