Jillian Kemenosh fractured her spine after her Uber driver ran a red light in March 2018. Kemenosh is looking to hold the company accountable for her injuries, but Uber claims she waived her rights to a jury trial when she agreed to the terms and conditions. According to the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, however, Kemenosh cannot be forced to settle her claim behind closed doors.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kemenosh was sitting in the backseat of a 2010 Toyota Highlander, only a few miles from her Center City apartment, when her Uber driver ran a red light at 16th and Vine. As a result, the Uber crashed into another vehicle.
After the accident, Kemenosh discovered she had sustained a spinal fracture, concussion, and a traumatic brain injury. She proceeded to sue Uber, its local subsidiaries, and the driver, and requested a jury determine her payout.
Uber argued in court documents that because she agreed to the terms and conditions when she downloaded the app in 2013, she had already forfeited her right to a jury trial. Instead, they wanted to resolve the dispute through binding arbitration, which would ultimately forfeit her right to suing and the matter would have to be settled privately.
When anyone downloads the Uber app, they are agreeing that they are 18 years of age or older, not using a stolen credit card to pay the driver, and, among other things, that they won’t seek a jury trial against the rideshare company. According to Judge Abbe F. Fletman, however, it’s impossible to determine if Kemenosh read the agreement because Uber’s agreement page doesn’t feature a hyperlink to review the terms of service. That is why Kemenosh has been granted the right to proceed with a jury trial.
Joseph L. Messa Jr., Kemenosh’s lawyer, believes the matter is related to transparency: “You have e-commerce companies here that want to financially benefit from customers but limit their rights from liability.” This is not the first time the rideshare company’s arbitration clause has appeared in court. Uber has until February 3, 2020 to appeal Fletman’s ruling.
If you’re in a situation where you believe a rideshare company is trying to take advantage of you after an accident, you need legal counsel. The attorneys at the Rideshare Law Group are here to represent you and ensure you get what you need to recover. Contact us today for more information.