Medallion Class Action v. Uber Technologies & Lyft

Patino & Associates has filed a class-action lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages for Miami’s taxi industry facing unfair competition and loss of business from ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft.

The lawsuit seeks equal protection under the law and compensation for 2,156 Miami-Dade taxi drivers and medallion holders. It comes on the heels of a new Miami-Dade County ordinance that creates unfair competition and other financial hardships for the taxi industry. Among other things, the new ordinance allows ride-hailing companies to raise prices as high as they want while taxi fares are capped by county rules. The industry faces an uneven playing field: Regulated taxis must use full-time drivers, often in multiple shifts, whereas app-based vehicle companies rely on freelance drivers who work part-time, often to make extra money.

Furthermore, taxis are required to have “medallions” (county-issued licenses) to operate. Once Uber and other ride-hailing services came into the market, these medallions plummeted in value on the resale market, causing taxi drivers and companies extreme financial hardship and business losses.

This case has far-reaching implications as cities throughout the United States grapple with how to balance the rights of traditional transportation services versus the app-based ride-hailing services. New York recently became the first U.S. city to restrict the number of ride-hail vehicles and to require Uber, Lyft, and other companies to pay drivers a minimum rate.

The Medallion Class Action v. Uber Technologies & Lyft alleges violations of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause; the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause; the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act); and the Lanham Act (which provides protection against trademark infringement and false advertising).

This ground-breaking case is under appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.