A California federal court refused to dismiss a case against Uber alleging that its app did not offer accessible ride options even though the plaintiffs failed to even download the app.
In Crawford v. Uber Tech. Inc., the Northern District of California denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings based on a lack of standing. Uber alleged that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge its mobile application because both users admitted that they never download the app. The plaintiffs, instead, argued that they were deterred from downloading the app because they knew that it did not offer the option to call a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. The court agreed that plaintiffs are not required to go to the “futile gesture” of attempting to become a customer when the plaintiffs know that the services are inaccessible.
While the facts of this case (accessibility of ride-sharing services) are limited in their application, the holding on the standing issue has broad application. A primary attack on accessibly litigation has been the standing issue, including arguments that the plaintiff never attempted to be a customer, is ineligible to be a customer or is located too far from the physical location to reasonably be considered a future customer. This case accepts that being deterred from visiting the website or app is sufficient to establish standing.