Law Street Media

NYC Restaurant Fights to Keep Predatory Pricing Case Against Postmates Alive

A man recieves a food delivery order in a brown paper bag.

Bicycle delivery commuter with road bicycle delivering package to customer

On August 12, the Manhattan bakery taking on Grubhub, Doordash, Uber Eats, and Uber-owned Postmates, said that Postmates is not entitled to judgment as a matter of law in its opposition brief. The dispute concerns the online food and delivery platforms’ supposed non-compliance with a COVID-19-era law capping fees platforms could charge at 15% for delivery and 5% for all additional fees.

Previously, the claims against all the defendants except Postmates were sent to arbitration. In its motion for judgment on the pleadings, filed in June, Postmates pushed to end the case arguing that the bakery plaintiff had no private right of action. 

The defendant noted that the New York City-wide laws were repealed and replaced with non-emergency legislation. Under the pair of new laws, the city created a private right of action, compared to the previous law which permitted only the city’s “Corporation Counsel” to police violations of the fee cap ordinance, not restaurants themselves.

The question debated in last week’s brief was whether “a private right of action is consistent with the legislative scheme.” The bakery contended that it is. 

The brief said that a private right of action does not impede the legislative scheme but “‘merely provide[s] an additional enforcement mechanism at the hands of those persons affected by a violation of that law and those whom the Legislature has deemed in need of protection.’” 

The opposition also argued that allegations in the complaint stated claims for relief. The filing said that the complaint was specific about which fees Postmates overcharged and why those fees constituted violations of the law. 

Postmates’ reply brief is due September 9.

The plaintiff is represented by Helbraun & Levey LLP and Postmates by Covington & Burling LLP.

Exit mobile version