A lawsuit accusing ride-hailing service Uber of not properly serving blind customers has been resolved, with the federal judge who oversaw the case giving final approval to a settlement and fee award yesterday.
The National Federation for the Blind sued Uber in 2014, saying drivers would frequently refuse to pick up riders who used service animals, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. In April, the NFB and Uber reached a deal in which Uber would send reminders to drivers, using e-mail and popups, reminding them of their obligation to accept service animals. Uber also agreed to pay $225,000 so that the NFB could have blind riders test Uber.
But while Uber and the NFB were able to agree on the terms of the deal, a fight over legal fees dragged on. Lawyers representing the NFB asked for more than $3 million in fees, enhanced by a multiplier of 2.0. In their fees motion (PDF), the lawyers argued the sum was justified, since the litigation addressed several novel issues—including whether a transportation network like Uber is a “place of public accommodation” subject to the ADA.
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