The Un-Newness of Uber’s Arguments

Published July 12th, 2017 -  - 07.12.1720


I thought readers would appreciate the opening paragraph of a new article on regulating ridesharing platforms:

In 1933, Elizabeth Rhone called Try Me Cab Company’s advertised phone number to order a cab. The company dispatched a vehicle bearing its logo. Unfortunately, the driver negligently operated the cab and injured Ms. Rhone. She sued the company for her injuries, but the company responded by saying it is not “engaged in carrying passengers for hire.” Rather, the company characterized itself as “a nonprofit-sharing corporation, incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia for the purpose of furnishing its members a telephone service and the advantages offered by use of the corporate name, while the company did not own this or any other cab.” Although Try Me Cab Company held the license to operate the cabs, it maintained that drivers were the passengers’ independent contractors and claimed it was not vicariously liable for Ms. Rhone’s harm.

Is it still “disruptive innovation” if it has been going on since 1933?

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