Ride-hailing corporation Uber is facing a class action lawsuit after a plaintiff filed a suit in federal court late Wednesday evening claiming officials violated federal telecommunications laws for sending unsolicited text messages to app users.
The lawsuit’s plaintiff, local activist Melissa Cubria, filed the suit claiming the company’s text messages to her violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The suit came just hours after opponents of Proposition 1, supported by Uber and Lyft, called for several investigations by local, county and state officials into the campaign practices of Ridesharing Works for Austin — the political action committee backing Prop 1 — and the ride-hailing companies.
“While federal law imposes no restrictions on live, manually-dialed political calls or text messages delivered to any landline or cell phone, the text message received by Plaintiff from “Cameron from Uber” has strong indicia of being generated not as part of what would be an incredibly complex and tedious live, manually-dialed/manually texted political outreach effort, but rather as part of a robo-texting effort using auto-dial technology,” the lawsuit claims.
Representatives of Uber sent out a statement after the suit was made public arguing the suit has the sole purpose of swaying voters before Saturday’s election.
"We have taken great precaution to comply with applicable laws and believe the claims in this lawsuit are meritless," the statement said. "The announcement of this action at an anti-Prop 1 press conference also reveals how it was designed to unduly influence the election."