Miramar Beach resident Tim Anderson has composed a complaint that accuses the successful ride-hailing company of using “targeted keyword advertising” to steal business from permitted taxi drivers.
A former taxi driver is enlisting the help of others in the same profession to stand with him in filing a class action lawsuit against Uber Technologies.
Miramar Beach resident Tim Anderson has composed a complaint that accuses the successful ride-hailing company of using “targeted keyword advertising” to steal business from permitted taxi drivers, thus depriving those drivers of income.
“Google users who searched for the term ‘taxi’ in every city where Uber offered services were prompted to download the Uber application that would connect them with someone recruited to drive their car as a taxicab on Ubers’ website,” the complaint states.
Other keywords used included “taxicab, airport shuttle, car service and limosine,” the suit contends.
Anderson said he’s spoken to “two or three” other cabbies or former cabbies who have expressed interest in joining his crusade against Uber, and he’s trying to find more. He’s calling for taxi drivers from Fort Walton Beach, Destin and Panama City to come to Miramar Beach this week to sign a petition.
He said he plans on filing his suit in U.S. District Court in Pensacola on Dec. 7, when he will hold a petition drive from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Pensacola International Airport Conference Room.
“We’ve been done wrong here,” Anderson said. “This is intentional deception, providing fraudulent information. Uber targeted the legal taxi industry.”
Efforts to reach an Uber company spokesperson were not successful.
Local enthusiasm for Anderson’s effort appeared muted. Karen Locklear, the general manager for Yellow Taxi in Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, declined comment on the lawsuit. Wylie Kyser, owner/operator of Around Tuit Taxi and Shuttle in Fort Walton Beach, said he isn’t interested.
“I own my own cab now,” Kyser said. “Uber is a national company, for one, and I feel the way I run my company keeps me from being in competition with them.”
Even as he’s enlisting fellow litigants, Anderson is on the lookout, apparently, for an attorney to argue the merits of his case in court. He notes in his news release that he had tried previously to file a similar lawsuit, but was ordered by District Court Judge Charles Kahn instruct him to find himself some representation.
In the location on the cover sheet of his complaint that typically bears the name of the attorney, Anderson’s document reads: “Law firm to be announced after raising funds for retainer at taxilawsuit.com.”