When Daily Journal reporter Melanie Brisbon needed an expert to comment on a recent appellate decision in the case Ryan Smythe v. Uber Technologies Inc., she reached out to RPNA’s Co-Managing Partner Nick Roxborough.
In this case, the state appellate court denied Uber’s motion to compel arbitration of an action brought by one of its drivers, Ryan Smythe, who also worked as a driver for Lyft, stating Smythe’s action was beyond the scope of his arbitration agreement with Uber. Smythe had accused Uber of placing phony requests for rides using Lyft accounts, an alleged violation of unfair business practices.
Roxborough, who helped draft legislation regarding arbitration agreements, agreed with the court’s decision, stating in the Daily Journal article, “The dispute in question did not arise out of his employment as an Uber driver, it arose out of his employment relationship as a Lyft driver.”
Roxborough cited a recent Supreme Court decision Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, which tests whether a worker is an independent contractor of an employee.
“If you look at that three-prong test in the Dynamex decision, Smythe clearly was working for Lyft under any rational analysis,” Roxborough said. “Therefore, it would be unreasonable to apply an arbitration clause under a different employment relationship.”
Other prominent attorneys agreed and talked about how the decision will impact similar cases.
Click here to read the Daily Journal article titled “Appellate Panel: Uber can’t force Lyft driver into arbitration.” [Subscription required]