Lawsuit over injury from airborne fire hydrant tests Uber’s insurance practices

|
(103)
Gushing for Uber
Image courtesy of Leslie Straw, via Twitter @lastraw
A hydrant hit by a private taxi operating in partnership with Uber was sent flying, leaving this geyser pouring at over Divisadero street.

Uber's policy on insuring its drivers will soon be taken for a test drive, as the company that runs the mobile app-based ride requesting service and a driver were served with a court summons last week from a woman severely injured after a crash near a San Francisco intersection.

Those insurances policies were said to meet brand new regulatory requirements on rideshare services introduced by the California Public Utilities Commission on July 30, which was meant to solve the longtime regulatory battle between rideshare services and local governments.

The plaintiff in the suit, Claire Farhbach, was a bystander, not a customer, and that unique twist in the injury suit has experts from the taxi industry waiting to see if Uber will step up to the plate to pay for Farhbach’s injuries, or if Uber will leave driver Djamol Gafurov on the hook for the bill.

Fahrbach was walking up Divisadero street near Hayes at quarter of midnight March 12 when Gafurov’s black town car, operating as a private taxi, collided with another car on Divisadero while turning left. One of the cars then collided with a fire hydrant, and in the words of the civil suit, "this impact caused the fire hydrant to be violently sheared from its base and propelled through the air a number of feet northbound...when the fire hydrant struck (Farhbach) with a tremendous amount of force."

The hydrant flew 81 feet from its original position, according to the police report.

The suit notes that Fahrbach sustained lacerations to her body, a fracture in her lower leg, and multiple herniated discs that “more likely than not will require surgical intervention in her future.”

Gafurov’s private taxi was operating as a “partner” of Uber, which is how the company defines its relationship to the network of drivers on its website. No private taxis or drivers are considered to be employees of Uber, as the company has repeatedly maintained. Uber provides software that lets passengers connect with drivers, like a digital dispatch, and the ridesharing service then takes a cut of the fare.

The image above is a modified police report from the fire hydrant incident, with numbers added: 1) site of the initial collision 2) where the vehicle hit the fire hydrant 3) where the hydrant hit Farhbach.

Yet that distinction has made their insurance liabilities nebulous, and local officials have taken notice. Officials at SFO last week started arresting rideshare operators in and around the airport, and the SFMTA, which regulates taxis, also considers them a problem.

The San Francisco Airport Commission and the SFMTA submitted concerns to the California Public Utilities Commission, charging that a “lack of adequate liability insurance, criminal background checks, driver training and regular vehicle inspections all decrease public safety, and although some [transportation network companies] represent that they do all of the above, the Airport Commission is asking for regulatory verification.” according to a CPUC report. “The SFMTA asserts that TNCs have a negative effect on public safety because of a lack of regulatory oversight.”

Cab drivers have long been regulated by the state, and these agencies contend that not only are rideshare companies like Uber dangerous, but the lack of insurance can be financially ruinous to pedestrians and drivers alike.

"Because it’s a pedestrian suing, that opens up a whole can of worms, and Uber may try to put the liability on the driver," said Trevor Johnson, director of the San Francisco Cab Driver's Association. A former cabbie himself, he's been on both sides of that sort of litigation, as well as in legal actions with tech companies like Uber.

Johnson is not confident the driver will be covered by his own insurance plan, because in its current pseudo-taxi company state, many insurers consider you not quite a taxi but not a private driver, putting these tech-cabbies in an awkward limbo.

"He may be left with a big judgment, and his insurance may opt to not cover him because he’s with Uber," he said.

This is backed up in our current issue of the Guardian, where Lyft driver Josh Wolf wrote from personal experience that it is difficult for Lyft drivers to obtain full insurance coverage for their vehicles.

A rideshare driver criticized Uber in a letter he wrote to the Guardian after reading that article. “I work for a limo company, I’m fully insured, the car is fully insured, but Uber takes absolutely no responsibility for its drivers,” the driver, who wanted to be identified as “Zark,” told us. He said he feared joining the ranks of self-employed cabbies, who often are under-insured. “[Uber] holds their customers in really high regard, but they don’t hold their drivers in any regard.”

Uber maintains that the drivers, and their actions, are not their responsibility.

In response to a query about the lawsuit, Uber spokesperson Andrew Noyes stated repeatedly that drivers are not employees of the rideshare company.

“Our legal team took a look at the files you sent. This is not an ‘Uber’ driver, they’re not employed by us. They’re employed by their licensed and insured limousine company,” he said. “The important thing is that theres no characterization of a driver as a driver at Uber.”

But Gafurov, the driver named in the accident, isn’t actually employed by a limo company.

Gafurov declined to speak to the Guardian, but after some digging, a disgruntled bystander, angry with Gafurov, found that he is self-employed and registered with the CPUC as the “Limo Car Service Corporation.”

Gafurov was driving with liability insurance, his CPUC registration shows -- but he not did not have excess liability insurance, which would be needed to cover extraordinary damage caused by the flying fire hydrant. The gaping hole left by the hydrant spilled water out onto all the surrounding businesses, causing intense damage, and everyone affected is seeking compensation.

Fahrbach’s lawyer, Doug Atkinson, told us the cost of the accident will be enormous.

Notably, few independent drivers have excess liability insurance.

“A lot of carriers don’t have it, because it’s expensive,” Johnson told us. “This is a case for the excess insurance, as it stands right now with that much damage and that many people after him, unless Uber steps in and helps him save the day this driver is going to be in the hole for the next 20 years.” He added, “This guy’s life is over.”

Atkinson is hopeful that getting Uber to pay that insurance won’t be a hard sell. “I’m not looking for some protracted legal battle, I want to see a company that will do the right thing, who’s saying ‘I’m revolutionizing cab driving.’”

In order to persuade the CPUC of its viability during the regulatory proceeding, Uber told them it has the very excess liability insurance that Gafurov needs, in excess of $5 million, according to CPUC documentation from an April workshop.

But having that insurance in place is different from using it to cover damages when needed. According to Uber’s partner agreement with its drivers, “Uber and/or its licensors shall not be liable for any loss, damage or injury which may be incurred” by a driver.

Asked if Uber will help Farhbach pay her medical bill, Noyes responded, “You’re writing about a specific case and I don’t think I can say much more. A professionally licensed driver is protected by their company, it’s not really my issue to weigh in on.”

Meanwhile, Fahrbach isn’t doing very well at all, she wrote in an email. Her injuries forced her to leave her two jobs in San Francisco, one at a farmer’s market and another at a cafe, and she moved back in with her family in North Carolina to recover.

"My recovery has been a slow steady process laced with many ups and downs," she said. "Having been immobile for the better part of three months has had an everlasting effect on my physical state. I will most likely be dealing with spinal problems for the rest of my life, but have tried to remain positive and grateful for the progress I have made."

Fahrbach said she doesn't have the money to cover her medical bills out-of-pocket, and this frightens her. "Frankly, if there is insufficient insurance to cover my injuries and losses, my financial future will be dismal."

Comments

They're all independent contractors whether they're affiliated with Uber or not.

Is The Guardian now demanding town car services be put out of business?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

'Independent Contracting' is despicable scam and any management that forces this load of crap on its workers should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

Posted by pete moss on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 11:44 am

Why?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

Why not?

Posted by pete moss on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

The new thing is "zero hours contracts" where an employee is contracted to perform a job but where the hours range from zero to forty in any given week. It has some of the attributes of FTE's but with no guaranteed number of hours and just an hourly rate set.

And of course by keeping the hours below 30, there is no requirement to provide health insurance, which is a killer for many employers.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

I endured years of independent contract work.

I know exactly what a rip off it is.

I don't see any reason to rehash the unpleasentness on this forum.

A labor force composed of independent contractors will be a highly destabilzing influence on society

Posted by pete moss on Aug. 12, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

Who get paid per word?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

I just read the above article, written through The SF Bay Guardian, a newspaper, a journalistic entity, which does not have any "personal concern" of this case or any others. They are suppose to be neutral in all they report about. It is not the Guardian that would be "demanding" the town car service be put out of business, or even that Uber is liable, it would be our system that is the ultimate judge of this case.

After carefully reading this article it is very unclear what will happen. Of course, it is a horrible accident/experience for Fahrbach to have endure and someone needs to compensate her greatly for her physical and emotional injuries, after all, the evidence shown leads to the fact that she was an innocent bystander in all of this! We have yet to see how Uber will respond.

As far as who is to blame, like I said, the system will have to determine that. I can tell you one thing, from my experience and research in following the SF Cab and LA Cab companies VS the Ride Sharing companies, if this was a San Francisco Cab company in the midst of this and not an Uber driver, they would of been all over it, in fact one or two companies actually have investigators who would of been down there on site, probably within an hour of this accident, to not only report on the accident and damage (and of course to help determine cause and who is at fault), but to also see how they could help their customer and anyone who might have been injured in the accident. I have witness this and also have spoken to several cab drivers who have given me statements confirming this type of positive behavior.

As much as a company like Uber may be more "creative" and technology smart these types of problems, early on, show they may not be too business saavy (I'd like to meet their investors sometime - I've got some great swamp land in the middle of the California desert to sell them) considering their business model maybe has too many holes in it (Ya think?!), what they do next will play a big role in how successful (or not) they become. Only time will tell.

As far as the public goes, if the economy doesn't get any better Cab companies will have to get pretty creative as well to give customers more for less (which some of the cabbies I've met are doing that already through advertising and promotional marketing). How much more they give and how much less they can deliver it for is yet to be determined, but if its convenient, one way or another, that is one thing that their customers will surely want to hail down!

By
Nolan Apostle
Event City
Internet Organization Technology
ec@eventcity.net

Posted by Nolan A on Aug. 10, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

The guardian is probably demanding that the other services simply take responsibility for their actions or stop making life more difficult for those that do take responsibility.

Posted by sf24hr on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

have become detached in that way.

The city wouldn't even notice another lawsuit against it.

But why does the Guardian hate a people-based, worker-liberating concept like the shareable economy?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

Fire Hydrant detach by design on impact with a purpose.

Posted by Rachel on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

special tool that twists them off

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

If I were the attorney, I'd file suit against the city as well as the company. The city is at fault for turning a blind eye to these unregulated cabs.

Posted by Greg on Aug. 11, 2013 @ 7:51 am

But not for failing to over-regulate a business that by it's very nature is peer-to-peer and co-operative. If you pay me $20 to mow your lawn, would you expect the city to get involved? I wouldn't.

Of course, you always want to sue someone because you see that as a form of legal mugging of the rich, just like taxes, strikes and unions. The people disagree with you.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 11, 2013 @ 8:05 am

Any information on what farmer's market (and what cafe, for that matter) Fahrbach worked at. Would be good if others at the market know about her situation. I hope she's better soon.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

simply because Uber was involved? Seems like a straight-forward liability claim against the vehicle's insurance.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

They'll be looking for any excuse to not pay. That's what insurance companies do. And the shady employment situation gives them that excuse.

Until they work out the kinks, seems like it's safer for everyone to go with a real cab company rather than these fishy fly-by-night operators without proper insurance.

Posted by Greg on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

about this accident that was specific to the company cited.

As I read the issue, the insurance concern was about paying passengers in the vehicle and not any random passer-by.

The third party should get a lawyer and settle up with the insurance company as normal. There's no political issue here, just like there isn't with AirBnB. It's just that SFBG has declared war on the shareable economy because it is not unionized or so easily controllable. Duh, that's the whole point of it.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

Somehow I doubt that the insurer is going to want to pay. I'll be very surprised if they're willing to settle "as normal." They're going to exploit every loophole to fight this, and it's all because the employment situation is fishy.

Incidentally, I'm tired of the term "shareable economy" being misused this way. My understanding about shareable economies is that the term refers to things like professionals trading services, co-ops, things like that. There's nothing shareable about this. Lyft and Uber are traditional profit-making companies who sell a service that you pay for in cash or credit, who wrap themselves in PC discourse to appeal to hipsters who don't know the difference.

Posted by Greg on Aug. 08, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

efficient to pay up. Never had any of the problems that you allege.

And car-share and home-share programs are very much part of the shareable economy. But naturally third-party entities are needed to facilitate that and their services need to be paid. You have a problem with CraigsList making a buck?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:38 am

why is the unlucky and unfortunate injured party forced to sue the driver, Uber and their insurance companies to get payment of her medical and other expenses?

If you read the article, you would know that the driver may be underinsured, and that Uber has structured the employment relationship to its benefit and the detriment of its "contractors", customers and the general public.

This situation screams out the need for single payer universal healthcare. Such a system would eliminate the lawsuits over liability for medical payments for someone like Claire Fairbach. Of course, other issues around lost wages, earning potential, pain and suffering would remain.

Finally, this account should serve as a cautionary tale to potential customers and employees/contractors of these so-called "sharing" economy applications like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. Shit happens. And when it does, these companies have more power and resources than you, which they will use to protect themselves and fuck you over if they must. Buyer, user and public beware.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 6:34 am

do a filing just to show you're serious. It's leverage to help secure a settlement.

and the insurance issue is the same whether it's a licensed cab, unlicensed car service or a friend or family member giving you a ride. In each case, they may not have coverage.

If you are that worried, take out your own personal accident policy.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 6:44 am

... that liability insurance won't pay for the damaged businesses, and that the amount the driver has coverage for may not pay for the totality of the damage caused, and Fahrbach's bills. That's where "excess liability" insurance comes in, which is what Uber says they have. The question the article poses is: Will they use it? And maybe they will! That'd be cool!

Posted by Joe Fitzgerald (author) on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:20 am

other business where they carry baseline insurance and sometimes it is not enough meaning that some gold-digging lawyer gets less than he thought. Ask me if I care.

Fighting the future is always hard but this seems like a non-issue to me regardless.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:42 am

More likely, they will use it only if they have to because of this litigation.

Their refusal to comment gives credence to skepticism about any good intentions they might have. Why not just instruct its insurance carrier to voluntarily pay out for whatever damages that the driver's insurance won't cover? Or alternatively, pay out of their own pocket?

At present, the severely injured bystander and the owners of the damaged businesses are suffering the most.

Ms. Fahrbach could be any one of us. Your article doesn't mention her age, but I imagine she is young and already contemplating a life of debt servitude to the medical industry, which is disgraceful.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:47 am

Yes, like with any claim for anything, maybe the victim will get a big American-style payday, and maybe she will just get a more moderate compensation. None of that is any different from any other claim in our litigious society where bad luck is seen as a windfall.

Instead we should be focusing on why the SF cab business is so crappy that we have to offer each other rides privately. Hmm, could that be over-regulation? Gee, what do you think?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:58 am
Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

There's a difference between Lyft and Uber here.

Those towncars and their drivers exist SOLELY to make money by transporting passengers.

People that drive Lyft already own cars and are willing to share their "excess car" with people who have fractional need for a car. The car would still exist and its owner would still drive it, absent a profit motive, which can not be said of the towncar.

That's the distinction of the "sharing economy".

Posted by Guest on Aug. 20, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

This will not be a simple suit.

Uber directs these drivers and advertises them as partners.

Uber' s revenue split will also be called into question . Fee splitting is a IRS violation and the reason taxi cab operators stopped this in the 70 s . If you split fairs you are an employee.

Uber will finally be deposed and the world will find out the reality of the uber model regarding self employed vs working with limo companies. I don't think this guy will be the exception. Uber will control this individual and provide his work, determine what he is paid and hire or fire him based on a subjective rating system .

This will open a lot of doors for labor attorneys and potential class action suits for the 500 reported employees that were laid off.

The Internet contract will also be on trial . Most attorneys I know do not beleive it will hold up. Uber is a limo service that dispatches vehicles as a common carrier and should be held responsible as a transportation company. Owning the car has nothing to do with being a common carrier.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 10, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

how motor insurance works.

When a third party is injured in an accident (and it doesn't matter whether that person is a pedestrian, as in this case, or another vehicle) then there is a sequence or hierarchy of claims that can be made:

1) The third party makes a claim against the driver's insurance. If the insurance company accepts that their customer was to blame, they will pay out up to the limit of their policy.

2) If the insurance company will not accept their client was to blame, then the third party can sue them, and a court will decide who is right.

3) If (1) and (2) both fail, then the third party can claim against their own motor or personal accident policy.

Or, if they don;t have any:

4) They can sue the driver and hope he isn't judgement proof.

Now, of course every plaintiff hopes for a "deep pocket" to go after, and so will often blame a rich party who has some connection with the driver, rather than the driver himself. But that's just a problem with modern America - every time we have some bad luck, we look for someone to blame so we can get rich, regardless of whether they had any actual liability for the incident.

This claim is like every other claim.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 11, 2013 @ 12:32 am

Insurance companies are basically -" Premium Collection, profit taking and Spreader of Risk on the entire pool- asap or by next yearly cycle" companies. No, they are NOT insurance companies, that is just a misnomer. But the name has stuck. Insurance is a lottery you hope not to win, but sometimes you get negative payouts on top of all premiums sucked out of you every billing cycle.

Posted by Guest-hereguy on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

It is better to hope for forgiveness than ask permission… That is the business model of these “sharable economy” companies, such as AirBnB and Lyft, and also micro-contract labor, such as TaskRabbit. These enterprises exist solely on their ability to swindle suppliers and customers into engaging in illegal, regulation violating, and insufficiently insured service industry transactions. These enablers are consciously conspiring to have their participants flaunt laws and assume significant risks, tax exposure and uncompensated expenses. Lyft, AirBnb, TaskRabbit and their cohorts may have been developed by clever utopian engineers, but they are funded with millions in venture capital, most of which is spent on lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations. They conveniently shrug off responsibility for hotel and self-employment taxes; business licenses, zoning restrictions, health department inspections, and similar burdens of establishing and running legitimate businesses. These costs and risk of liability and prosecution are ignorantly or willingly accepted by ill-informed or equally complicit suppliers because many are desperate for any trickle of income from our economy that rewards the already wealthy (investors and serial startup hacks) or to-big-to-jail criminals. Renters of AirBnBs, drivers for Lyft, and task runners for TaskRabbit are never fully informed before they participate as illicit service suppliers in these scams. This is comparable to a mob kingpin using disposable youths to sell drugs on the street. If the enabling high profile companies have immunized themselves against prosecution, and laws continue to be broken, then we must prosecute the end-service providers and cutoff the lifeblood of the parasitic profiteering racketeers. Selective enforcement is not an option, but the system will surely collapse even if a sufficiently publicized few are made to face reality and penalties. Either do that, or level the playing field by eliminating all taxes and regulations for every type of business. Consider my new website going into Beta soon: “www.MethYouUp.com”, where thousands of users in major cities will be provided a safe and convenient way to automatically donate suggested dollar amounts to background screened and community rated home lab organic amphetamine suppliers.

Posted by Anon on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:22 am

scared shitless that the people will start "doing it for themselves" rather than continue to be dependent on a central command and control power structure.

AirBnB, Lyft and the rest provide us with services and profit opportunities without the need to fill out fifteen city forms and wait in line for a permit.

Good.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:41 am

But it is amusing to see the vested interest groups for the current status quo squirming in their discomfort.

Posted by anon on Aug. 12, 2013 @ 9:29 am

Hello, I loog on to your new stuff daily. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep it up!

Posted by funny memes on Sep. 08, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

It is better to hope for forgiveness than ask permission… That is the business model of these “sharable economy” companies, such as AirBnB and Lyft, and also micro-contract labor, such as TaskRabbit. These enterprises exist solely on their ability to swindle suppliers and customers into engaging in illegal, regulation violating, and insufficiently insured service industry transactions. These enablers consciously conspire to have their participants flaunt laws and assume significant risks, tax exposure and uncompensated expenses. Lyft, AirBnb, TaskRabbit and their cohorts may have been developed by clever utopian engineers, but they are funded with millions in venture capital, most of which is spent on lawyers, lobbyists, and public relations. They conveniently shrug off responsibility for hotel and self-employment taxes; business licenses, zoning restrictions, health department inspections, and similar burdens of establishing and running legitimate businesses. These costs and risk of liability and prosecution are ignorantly or willingly accepted by ill-informed or equally complicit suppliers because many are desperate for any trickle of income from our economy that rewards the already wealthy (investors and serial startup hacks) or to-big-to-jail criminals. Renters of AirBnBs, drivers for Lyft, and task runners for TaskRabbit are never fully informed before they participate as illicit service suppliers in these scams. This is comparable to a mob kingpin using disposable youths to sell drugs on the street. If the enabling high profile companies have immunized themselves against prosecution, and laws continue to be broken, then we must prosecute the end-service providers and cutoff the lifeblood of the parasitic profiteering racketeers. Selective enforcement is not an option, but the system will surely collapse even if a sufficiently publicized few are made to face reality and penalties. Either do that, or level the playing field by eliminating all taxes and regulations for every type of business. Consider my new website going into Beta soon: “www.MethYouUp.com”, where thousands of users in major cities will be provided a safe and convenient way to automatically donate suggested dollar amounts to background screened and community rated home lab organic amphetamine suppliers.

Posted by Anon on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:23 am

helpful phrase for anyone sick of "the city says no" and "the computer says no".

Instead the people take things into their own hands, cock a finger at the cheap-suited bureaucrats, and forge their own destiny.

Only city parasites, political ideologs and union stools oppose these initiatives.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:43 am

The quote is, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission."

As for the rest of your screed and the screeds above, it seems almost everyone follows their self-interest. If we can exploit a given situation, we will. And if others are challenging our self-interest, we'll usuallly oppose them. Thus, if I'm a tenant and can't afford to purchase a TIC, I'll support rent control and I'll oppose any changes that make it easier to convert rent-controlled apartments to TICs/condos. But if I can afford to buy a TIC, I'll oppose any rules that limit my ability to purchase a TIC/condo. If I'm a driver or owner of an exisitng taxi company, I'll oppose new entrants to the market, and vice-versa.

Consider all of the cool kids heading for Burning Man this month. How many have evicted tenants or purchased former rent-controlled apartments so they can live in SF? How many have used tax planning tools to reduce their tax payments to governments? How many tout their environmental cred while travelling in a polluting, low MPG RV to get to the event?

Exploiters and hypocrites seem to define most of humanity regardless of what side of an issue they happen to support or oppose, but both sides enjoy their sex, drugs and music. Thus, both sides are a lot more similar than they might appear when listening to their rhetoric.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 6:15 am

There's a subtle shift in meaning perhaps, whereby "easier" sounds a little lazy and slothful, whereas "better" implies a heroic defiance of authority.

But in essence the meaning is the same i.e. that if you follow and obey every rule you will drive yourself nuts, and sometimes it is simply better to go what you believe to be right and accept any consequences as the price of doing business.

Or as Martin Luther said, "If you're going to sin, sin boldly"

As for everyone being self-interested, my informed response to that would be a big DUH. Adam Smith was way ahead of you, along with most Americans who hold that enlightened self-interest trumps Organization Man.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 6:31 am

Love your acid humor! Put me on the mailing list for www.methYOUup.com.

I drive a Sidecar... and yes folks... its a high tech ripoff. I'm a broke-ass ex-hippie libertarian but the reality of driving the spoiled tech-children around town is turning me back into a proto-Marxist.

The "donation" system leads to drunks stiffing me, and though many tip above the suggested fare, the stiffers take away everything the tippers give in excess! Meanwhile, freaking Sidecar takes 20% even of my tips!!! And when there's a deadbeat inactive credit card, I get ZERO.

The moral: Don't be a broke-ass ex-hippie in an economy run by techie wunderkids and vulture capitalists.

The "sharing economy," is fundamentally a bunch of digital platforms created by wunderkids to siphon 20% of the transaction between service provider and service buyer into the pockets of the vulture 1%. Isn't digital kapitalizm wonderful!

Posted by Sidecar Shamus on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

If not for old-economy taxi regulations the donation system wouldn't be needed.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

eliminate these comment pages, along comes one like this.

Thank you, Sidecar Shamus.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

100% of nothing.

Now drive me the Slanted Door, hippie.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

As a former cab driver myself what makes you think that taxi drivers are fully insured. Look at my case where I was under insured when hit by another driver. http://www.sanfranciscotaxidrivers.com

Posted by Dean Clark on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 6:30 am

insured. Doesn't matter whether it's a cab, a share-ride or a freidn taking you to the airport.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 6:42 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... that is so true that it seems EVERYONE is for self interest EVEN at the expense of others. This is the way of the world while they lie and tell you how much they care, how much things are not fair, how to "secure" your rights through court (if you are rich enough) and how much "good and right" will trump. What you are NOT told is right often TAKES TIME (much time ... even years) while their deceit and profit are accomplished quickly. However abuse of the LAW and process is NOT unique to these individuals or corporations ... they are UNIVERSAL with even city agencies, government agencies and law enforcement agencies.

Here is a good example ... being arrested for a crime that DPH did in 2001 http://myownprivateguantanamo.com/settle1.html and lied in court to have the case dismissed (C02-3485PJH) in 2003 http://myownprivateguantanamo.com/reply2.html and then in 2007 signed a confession admitting fault and guilt for BREAKING FEDERAL MEDICAL LAW (see above link to the settlement) and left its VINDICATED INNOCENT VICTIM for DEAD.

Now go to youtube and type in Jason Garza to see over 199 videos of denial of medical care by DPH, the complicit Sheriff, SFPD, OCC, HRC, MOD, Chief of Police and Police Commission.

So do I expect corporations and individuals to have self interest OVER COMMON GOOD and HUMANITY ...yes, EVEN the corrupt city government have the same self interests at NOT only my expense but also YOURS. Sort of reminds me of the priests ...

Call Barbara Garcia (DPH) 415-554-2525 and ask why NO HEALTH CARE or the Sheriff 554-7225 or the Chief of Police 553-1551.

So corporations skirt the LAW, SF does NOT enforce the LAW (airbnb, lyft, uber) and DOH breaks the law http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cP3jCmJFRo&list=TLtYjZ6yxh7EA and SF DOES NOT ENFORCE.

So what is the difference ... a higher expectation/duty from the city (like the priests) when like corporations and individuals they are ONLY concerned with self interest? Or have you forgotten that the city is a CORPORATION? While you are at it ... why don't you ask Garcia 554-2525 (DPH) about the fraud in federal court (C02-3485PJH) and the city attorney 554.4700 if it was a MEDICAL DECISION to lie in FEDERAL COURT and while you are at it ask why they (DPH, city attorney or court system) has NOT explained how I can have an arrest record (never having been arrested before) for a CRIME they committed.

Yes, fraud, deceit and twisting reality to fit their needs happen here in SF with the city ...

Enjoy youtube, know that they DO NOT CARE, this is a diversion to split and divide and NOT ask the right questions nor hold accountable ... just like the city ... Airbnb and others have not been held accountable ... just go to youtube to see the same in regard to the city.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 11:41 am

This will be an interesting legal test. We will find out once and for all if Uber and the others have adequate insurance coverage.

Posted by Troll the XIV on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 11:42 am

When is Uber Barber or Über Nails scheduled to begin? I took a hair cutting class about 10 years ago and I still have some tools.. No license needed, just a fist bump!!!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

Malpractice Insurance? I don't need no stinkin' malpractice insurance! The warranty I got on my drill from the mail order company should cover everything.

Posted by Greg on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:31 pm
Posted by Guest on Aug. 09, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Also from this author

  • Poll says SF loves tech buses, doesn't ask Spanish speakers

  • Boom for whom?

    Why isn't San Francisco's hot economy creating a budget surplus to address its costly byproducts?

  • A fine dilemma

    Increased citations often hinder homeless youth from finding better life