Plaintiff Opposes Uber’s Motion to Compel Arbitration in E-Scooter Suit

On Tuesday, plaintiff Erin Norman filed an opposition/response in the Northern District of California to Uber’s motion to compel arbitration, asserting that the court should deny Uber’s motion to compel arbitration for a variety of reasons.

Previously, as summarized in the opposition, the plaintiff sued Uber and other electric scooter manufacturers and rental companies in September 2020 on behalf of herself and the general public, alleging that “Uber’s rental scooters, which lack a signal mechanism, place riders in the predicament of turning without a signal in violation of California law or following the law with a dangerous hand signal, endangering riders and the public at large, and which ultimately caused Plaintiff’s own significant personal injuries.” Uber moved to compel arbitration, asserting that the plaintiff “delegated the decision on arbitrability to the arbitrator and that the California Supreme Court decision McGill v. Citibank, N.A., … does not apply to her claims.” However, the plaintiff disagrees with Uber’s assertions.

Norman asserts six points as to why the court should deny Uber’s motion. Specifically, the plaintiff contends: “(1) the arbitration agreement violates McGill by barring injunctive relief all fora.” because it “relegates any ‘dispute, claim or controversy’ to arbitration’” and limits declaratory and injunctive relief to an individual’s claims, thus preventing relief or from suits in a class, collective, or representative nature in any forum; “(2) (she) properly seeks public injunctive relief that would enjoin Uber from renting scooters ‘until the public is properly warned about the scooter vehicles’ inherently dangerous condition, and/or until the scooter vehicles’ defective turn signaling system is replaced or rectified’”; “(3) Uber’s contention that there is ‘nothing to enjoin’ is meritless” because Uber states that consumers still have access to its dockless e-bikes and e-scooters; (4) the court should “determine arbitrability because the delegation clause does not present a ‘clear and unmistakable’ intent to delegate the question of arbitrability”; “(5) (the) strict product liability claims fall within the purview of McGill and likewise cannot be waived”; and “(6) (the) non-arbitrable claims should not be stayed.”

The plaintiff is represented by Carlson Lynch LLP and Hindman APC. Uber is represented by Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.