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Is Uber Putting Profits Before Safety?

Posted July 24, 2015 - James R. Gregory, Trial Attorney

Ride-sharing pioneer Uber, a recent entrant to the Portland car-for-hire market, has posted a website urging people to “Save Uber Oregon!” The site encourages Uber supporters to “tell the state leaders to stop holding Oregon back” and oppose two house bills “that would end ride sharing in Oregon.”

Strangely absent from Uber’s plea are any details about the contents of HB 2995 and HB 2237, which would require the company to provide modest insurance coverage to drivers while they are logged onto the Uber service and seeking passengers. Uber maintains it should provide coverage only while its drivers are carrying its customers, which creates a dangerous gap in protection – personal auto insurance would likely deny payment for accidents during this “interim” period, because actively seeking paid fares is a commercial activity.

The legislature is attempting to force Uber to provide coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per incident, which is a meager sum indeed compared to the $500,000 minimum mandated for traditional cab companies.