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Uber Sues Drivers’ Insurer Alleging Its Claims Practices Have Fueled Tort Litigation

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Uber Applied sciences final Friday sued an auto insurer to have it defend and indemnify it relating to a number of lawsuits which are in search of to carry Uber vicariously chargeable for accidents involving Uber drivers in New York. The know-how firm maintains that the insurer has a “sample and observe of failing to stick to cheap claims-handling practices and failing to moderately resolve claims and lawsuits on its insureds’ behalf.”

Uber’s criticism cites 23 lawsuits that relate to accidents involving totally different Uber drivers that occurred between August 2016 by way of July 2023. These lawsuits search to carry Uber vicariously chargeable for the accidents primarily based upon the drivers’ use of Uber’s app for lead era and fee processing.

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Uber claims that ATIC’s failure to resolve the claims has led to the legal responsibility lawsuits. The insurer’s practices have had the “knock-on impact of frightening pointless tort litigation involving insured for-hire drivers and Uber, whereby ATIC has, in observe, compelled claimants to ask Uber to unreasonably step into the footwear of ATIC’s insurance coverage protection obligations,” based on the criticism.

The insurer, American Transit Insurance coverage Co. (ATIC), has denied protection claiming that Uber just isn’t an insured underneath the drivers’ insurance policies. ATIC says Uber was not a named insured on the declarations pages and doesn’t qualify as an insured as a result of it was not utilizing the coated autos. In its denial, it additional asserted that Uber just isn’t chargeable for the conduct of any insured.

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Even when Uber is an insured, ATIC added, Uber violated the notification and cooperation provisions of the insurance policies. The insurer says Uber didn’t notify it of the accidents “as quickly as moderately doable” as required underneath the insurance policies and that by the point it did, Uber had already retained counsel, made funds and incurred bills with out the insurer’s consent. ATIC denies any obligation to reimburse Uber.

The insurer additional contends that the alleged notification and cooperation failures by Uber and the majority nature of Uber’s declare tender on September 25, 2023 —a letter with 9 pages of greater than 500 cited instances— are prejudicial to it.

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Uber’s Argument

As a result of the underlying lawsuits search damages for bodily damage towards Uber arising out of the actions of ATIC insureds, Uber says it qualifies as an insured underneath the insurance policies and ATIC is due to this fact obligated to defend and indemnify it towards the allegations that it’s answerable for the conduct of one other “insured.”

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Uber argues the precise battle with ATIC permits for its hiring of unbiased counsel to symbolize it.

Drivers-for-hire in New York Metropolis are licensed by the Taxi & Limousine Fee (TLC). To make use of the Uber app, every driver is required to take care of a industrial auto legal responsibility coverage issued by ATIC that gives safety towards bodily damage and property injury to 3rd events at ranges of protection that fulfill all relevant legal guidelines.

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The criticism says that each allegedly at-fault driver in every underlying lawsuit had a required industrial auto legal responsibility coverage issued by ATIC with limits of a minimum of $100,000, which is the minimal required.

Additionally, based on Uber’s settlement, every driver should add Uber to the insurance coverage insurance policies as an extra insured. Additionally, every driver agrees to indemnify, defend and maintain innocent Uber, its associates, officers and staff for any declare by a 3rd celebration.

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Uber mentioned it has paid and can proceed to pay “substantial quantities” to defend the underlying lawsuits. Additional, Uber maintained it can incur extra damages in settlements and judgments.

Uber is asking the court docket for a declaratory judgment that ATIC has an obligation to defend and indemnify it within the underlying lawsuits and that Uber has a proper to be defended by unbiased counsel of its selecting, with authorized charges paid by ATIC. Uber can be in search of cash damages for alleged breach of contract, attorneys charges and any authorized legal responsibility.

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Uber filed its swimsuit in federal district court docket in Manhattan.

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