Uber Receives ADA Complaint Over Drivers’ Refusal to Transport Service Dog

A blind Florida resident sued Uber Technologies Inc. for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations relating to its drivers’ refusal to transport the plaintiff because of his guide dog. The Southern District of Florida complaint argues that the discrimination the plaintiff has experienced is the fault of the company for failing to train its drivers even after notification of the recurring problem.

The filing explains that the plaintiff uses a guide dog for assistance, specifically “to avoid obstacles and to otherwise navigate and traverse unknown terrain.” Because he cannot drive, he relies on third party services, including rideshare company Uber, to travel locally.

At least a dozen times, the plaintiff has been turned away by Uber drivers because of his guide dog. The result has left him stranded away from home, delayed, scrambling to find alternative transportation, or forced to expend money on alternate travel methods. “Adding insult to injury, Plaintiff has been charged cancellation fees for rides that were illegally canceled by Uber drivers,” the filing says.

It notes that though Uber has been sued by other blind and visually impaired individuals over the same issue and it promised to remedy the problem, it has not. Drivers continue to refuse the plaintiff transport, an ADA accommodation Uber is directly responsible and vicariously liable for, the plaintiff says. 

It states two claims for relief from ADA violations, addign that Uber “is clearly undeterred and unmoved by litigation aimed at rectifying this misconduct, and at this point, it is clear that only a punitive damage award might possibly cause Uber to take effective action to cure this persisting misconduct.”

The plaintiff is represented by Law Offices of Nolan Klein P.A.