Uber Wrongful Death Claim Appealed Over Arbitration Clause

A woman pursuing a wrongful death claim against Uber recently experienced a victory in the Georgia Court of Appeals. She filed the claim following the murder of her son by an Uber Eats driver, but Uber sought to remove the case from civil court, claiming the customer agreed to a mandatory arbitration clause. While the trial court sided with Uber, the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s decision, and the mother will have her day in court to seek justice for the wrongful death of her son.

Many complex legal issues can arise in wrongful death claims, especially when they are against large corporations with legal teams that try to use tricky legal maneuvers. If you lost a loved one tragically, you should speak with a Forsyth County wrongful death lawyer who can help recover the full value of the life.

Arbitration Clauses in General

When you engage in many activities or transactions with companies, you might be unknowingly agreeing to a variety of contractual provisions without even realizing it. Often, such provisions might never come into play, but in the event of an injury or untimely death, affected victims might have additional legal hurdles, particularly if they agreed to a mandatory arbitration clause.

Mandatory arbitration provisions state that in the event of harm, the injured person waives their right to file a lawsuit and have a jury trial in civil court. Instead, the case will go to arbitration, which is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). While arbitration can be quicker and cost less than litigation, it is less likely that you will be able to full recover all of your losses if you waive your constitutional right to a jury trial. Large companies can often leverage arbitration proceedings in their favor, so litigation might be preferable in many situations.

The issue is that many people have no idea they are agreeing to waive their rights in arbitration clauses. Often, this clause is located in the fine print on a website's terms and conditions, on the back of a ticket or receipt, or in another hard-to-notice location. Most of the time, you might not know you ever agreed to arbitration until you file a claim.

The Court of Appeals Ruling Against Uber

In the case of Uber Eats, a customer agreed to the arbitration clause when they initially register for the app. There is a link to the “terms and conditions,” which includes this clause. Uber also claimed that it emailed updated terms and conditions to customers, including the arbitration agreement.

The Uber Eats driver was previously convicted of the murder of customer Ryan Thornton, who Uber claimed agreed to the terms and conditions. However, in her wrongful death claim, Thornton’s mother argued that the link to the terms and conditions on the app was hidden under the keyboard on an Android, and that Thorton never received an email from Uber with updated terms. For this reason, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision to compel arbitration and sent the case back to the trial court for the case to proceed with a jury trial.

Learn How a Cumming Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

This case illustrates only one of many complex legal issues that can arise in wrongful death cases which is why you need a Forsyth County wrongful death lawyer from Banks, Stubbs & McFarland on your side. Contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 for a free case evaluation.