Montreal

'First big victory': Quebec taxi industry gets green light for class-action lawsuit against Uber

The Quebec Superior court is allowing taxi companies and drivers to launch a class-action lawsuit against the Uber ride-hailing service.

Taxi industry lawyer says hundreds of millions of dollars will be sought from Uber

Quebec's one-year pilot project with Uber began in October. (Reuters)

A Quebec Superior Court judge is allowing taxi companies and drivers to launch a class-action lawsuit against the Uber ride-hailing service in hopes of reclaiming hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue, their lawyer says.

The lawyer representing the taxi companies and drivers, Marc-Antoine Cloutier says they are seeking to get the money they lost back from Uber since it launched in Quebec in 2014.

"This is the first big victory for the taxi industry against Uber," Cloutier told CBC's French language station, Radio-Canada.

"We're talking about 15,000 to 20,000 taxi drivers and fairly important numbers — a loss of value for their taxi permits, loss of revenue."

The lead plaintiff in the case is Wilson Jean-Paul, a taxi owner and spokesman for the union representing 4,000 drivers in Quebec.

Cloutier said the lawsuit covers all taxi and limousine companies and drivers working in Montreal, its south and north shore, and in the Quebec City area.

Pilot project

The Quebec government signed a one-year pilot project with Uber which expires in October 2017. 

Uber Canada spokesperson Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said the company is aware of the taxi industry getting the green light to file a class-action lawsuit but wouldn't comment on how Uber would handle it.

"We are going to concentrate our energies on offering a quality service to Quebecers with the pilot project," he stated in an email.

Taxi companies previously tried to have a judge impose an injunction against the pilot project but failed.

with files from The Canadian Press and Radio-Canada's Normand Grondin

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