Regan Zambri Long PLLC filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers who used new ridesharing service Empower, alleging that the service violates the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
The complaint alleges that Empower’s business model is designed to underprice market leaders Uber and Lyft. According to the complaint, Empower is consciously violating District of Columbia consumer protection laws requiring that it perform background checks of its drivers and that it maintain $1 million of liability insurance to protect passengers, drivers, and other people on the road in the event of an auto accident.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff, Alicia Woodford, requested a ride through the Empower app on August 6, 2022. While driving Ms. Woodford to her destination, the driver collided with a concrete median, resulting in injuries to Ms. Woodford. It was later discovered that neither Empower nor the driver had any insurance to cover her injuries.
The complaint further states: “By, in violation of District of Columbia law, choosing not to obtain the required insurance coverage, not to require its Drivers to obtain the required insurance coverage, not to disclose the insurance requirements on its website, and to remain willfully blind as to whether or not its Drivers are in fact carrying any insurance coverage, Defendant Empower not only fraudulently misleads its passenger-consumers; it also exposes them, other road users, and even its own drivers to the risk of financial ruin in the event of a crash.”
In addition to failing to provide the required liability insurance, the complaint also alleges that Empower does not perform background checks on its drivers. District of Columbia law requires that rideshare companies retain an accredited third party to conduct a background check on each driver, which includes a local and national criminal background check, a full driving record check, and a national sex offender database background check. However, the complaint alleges Empower does not perform these checks on its drivers.
The plaintiff is represented by Regan Zambri Long personal injury attorneys Patrick Regan, Christopher Regan, and Emily Lagan.