Uber has a reputation as a company disinclined to shy away from conflict — a reputation that may be well deserved. The technology giant is currently facing approximately 50 different suits in federal court, a number which dwarfs the number threatening its top competitor Lyft. Is this due to Uber's swifter path to growth, their hubris, or some combination of factors?
That a company as frequently controversial as Uber is being multiply sued is not by itself news, however when one compares the number of lawsuits facing Uber to the number facing other tech behemoths, it becomes clear that something very different is going on.
Lyft, for example, was sued only a third as often in federal court last year as Uber, reports Fusion. Airbnb, another major technology company disrupting an established industry, was only sued five times in federal court in 2015.
So, why all the Uber hate?
"According to court records, of the 50 or so lawsuits currently pending against Uber in federal court right now, 17 were filed by Uber drivers, 15 by taxi and livery companies, and more than a dozen by customers alleging all manners of sin, including assault, illegal robocalling, and deceptive pricing," explains the publication. There’s also suits for trademark infringement, rejected insurance claims and disability discrimination, not to mention more lawsuits than were readily accessible in state and county courts."
"Even Facebook," notes Fusion, "when it was Uber’s age and had surpassed 350 million users, had not faced anywhere near as much legal opposition."
All this time in court is likely costing Uber a ton of cash, and it appears that the company only expects its legal troubles to continue to grow as it is currently trying to fill 29 open legal positions.
We also know, as of recently, that despite wild growth Uber is still operating at a huge loss, and they cut driver earnings earlier this month in an attempt to lower prices and boost the number of rides its customers take.
Also, somebody's got to pay for all those lawyers.