An Uber driver has taken his case to the Supreme Court after Uber allegedly refused to pay the driver’s medical costs for the two weeks he spent in hospital.
The case, filed by the driver in the Supreme Judicial Court in Dublin, relates to the alleged negligence of Uber to avoid paying his medical costs, and it could set a precedent for other drivers to file similar cases.
It comes after Uber faced a backlash over its failure to pay out $US10 million to a driver who suffered a heart attack in 2016, despite being on the road for two weeks.
Uber, the ride-hailing company, has been embroiled in a legal battle with some of its drivers over whether the company should pay medical costs or not.
While it’s unclear whether Uber’s policy of refusing to pay for medical expenses is unique to the case, the case has raised the question of whether Uber drivers should be entitled to damages as a matter of law.
Dr Andrew McGovern, the chief medical officer of Uber, has argued in the past that drivers should not be liable for any damages incurred as a result of their work, but that may be under threat under the new Supreme Court decision.
“It’s an issue of whether a driver is entitled to claim damages under a law of tort law,” Mr McGovern told Sky News on Friday.
If you have a complaint and you’re not able to go to court and you don’t have any recourse then you can go to the courts and seek damages.
However, he said Uber’s drivers would be entitled if the case went to trial, because the company’s policy on claims was the same for all drivers.
I think we should be able to put forward claims, but I think the issue will have to be decided by the courts.
In its submissions to the court, Uber argued that drivers could claim compensation in two ways: medical and non-medical damages.
Dr McGovern has said he would rule on whether a doctor’s statement that a driver’s job was dangerous, and therefore an injury to their health, was not an appropriate claim for compensation.
An Uber spokesman told the Irish Independent the company was confident it had complied with its policy.
A spokeswoman for the Supreme Courts office in Dublin said the court would be hearing the case in the coming weeks.
A spokesperson for the High Court in London declined to comment.
Mr McGovern said Uber should not have been required to pay, even though it has a medical policy which protects drivers.
“The drivers are not entitled to any sort of compensation, other than the money that is required to cover the cost of the operation of the vehicle,” he said.
He said the driver should not even have to wait to get a court hearing.
“They should not go to hospital, they should not suffer any loss of income, other loss of life, other personal damage to their body, and should not lose any more jobs,” he added.
There has been no official comment from Uber on the court case, but a spokesperson said in a statement the company had “completed the investigation into the driver who has raised these issues and is happy with the outcome”.