Uber Allowed to Arbitrate New Jersey Accident Claims

October 16, 2023

A notice in Uber’s digital registration process requiring ride-share customers to take any individual claims to arbitration is enforceable, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled in a case involving passengers injured in an auto accident.

Three plaintiffs injured in the accident sued Uber, alleging negligence had caused the collision and their injuries and Uber was partly at fault, along with the drivers of the vehicles involved in the collision. Uber moved to compel arbitration of the claims against it based on the terms in its digital agreement.

The plaintiffs complained that the “pop-up” window for Uber’s terms did not expressly advise them of the arbitration agreement and that they were “not directed to or required to read” the terms of use. They argued that Uber failed to demonstrate that they had agreed to waive their right to a jury trial.

The appeals division of the Superior Court of New Jersey sided with Uber and affirmed a lower court in finding that the agreement is an enforceable “clickwrap” agreement, meaning one that requires that a user consent to any terms or conditions by clicking on a dialog box on the screen in order to proceed with the transaction.

The court found that each of the three plaintiffs followed the Uber process –checking the box to indicate he or she had reviewed and agreed to the terms of use and clicking “confirm” before the automobile accident. The court said the language Uber uses is “sufficiently clear to place a consumer on notice that he or she is waiving a constitutional or statutory right.”