Federal judge awards $2.02M in attorneys' fees in Uber class-action settlement

By Ryan Croft | May 15, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has awarded $2.02 million in attorneys' fees for a class-action lawsuit against Uber.


SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has awarded $2.02 million in attorneys' fees for a class-action lawsuit against Uber. 

U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen handed down his decision May 2 as part of an overall $7.5 million class-action settlement in which drivers accused Uber of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The attorney fees awarded amount to approximately one-third of the settlement fund and 30.86 percent of the approximately $8.1 million common fund, according to court documents. Chen denied attorneys an additional $47,500 in expense compensation. 

The judge called the $7.5 million settlement, which totaled less than 1 percent of the potential settlement value “a very modest result.”

The lawsuit was originally brought against Uber in 2014 as two separate class action suits by lead plaintiffs Ronald Gillette and Abdul Mohamed. They consolidated their cases in 2015, according to website topclassactions.com.

The court granted service awards to Gillette and Mohamed, $7,500 and $5,000, respectively, as compensation for the plaintiff’s assistance to their attorneys in the case. The court also granted service awards to plaintiffs Shannon Wise, Brandon Farmer and Meghan Christenson. Those award amounts were $4,500, $3,200 and $3,000 respectively. 

All plaintiffs alleged they were “denied employment or were terminated on the basis of information contained in background checks that Uber procured in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and related state laws,” according to court documents.

The court originally approved hearings for the lawsuit in June 2017. After that approval, other potential plaintiffs received notice of the lawsuit. 

According to the court records, more than 1 million emails were sent to possible members of the class action. Only 120,000 emails were confirmed opened and almost 800,000 were delivered with no confirmation they were viewed. 

Of 135,209 total received claim submissions, only around 99,000, or 10 percent of all class members, were deemed valid. The deadline for requests for exclusion and objections to the settlement was Dec. 14. A total of 216 people opted out of the settlement. 

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