Months after an Uber driver allegedly put a service animal in the trunk of their car, and other Uber drivers reportedly abandoned blind riders on the side of the road with their service dogs, the company has agreed to pay $225,000 over three years to the National Federation of the Blind, according to Monday’s Consumerist. Uber published their statement on the company website on April 29 regarding the outcome of the lawsuit, which was brought against them by the National Federation of the Blind of California in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In addition to paying the fine, Uber will make it clear to their drivers that they are legally obligated to transport any passenger with a service animal, and will send out periodic email reminders to drivers regarding this policy. They will also publish a service animal policy which will spell out that any Uber driver violating this regulation will be barred from using the Uber platform.
According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, when a California UberX driver put a service dog in the trunk. When the blind passenger realized where their animal was and demanded it be placed in the car, the Uber driver refused to pull over. The California group filing the lawsuit claimed they were aware of more than 30 instances of the company violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and state law. Testers will be utilized for the next few years to confirm Uber’s compliance with this settlement.