Philadelphia Magazine featured a story about a lawsuit recently filed against Uber by Lemberg Law client Boris Kautsky. Kautsky’s taxi company, CoachTrans, is seeking $1.5 million from the transportation company for devaluing CoachTrans’ three taxicab medallions, once valued at $500,000 each and now worth only $80,000 each.
According to Sergei Lemberg, principal of Lemberg Law, the Philadelphia Parking Authority recently sued Uber for operating illegally. “Not only does Uber regularly enter markets without securing the proper licenses and authority; it has also made the targeting and destroying of local businesses a central part of its business model,” he said.
Kautsky’s story is the epitome of the American dream. “He arrived in Philadelphia from the Ukraine and decided to become a cab driver, founding Coachtrans with his wife, Alla,” said Lemberg. “Since then, he worked tirelessly, driving as many as 14 hours per day, in order to grow his business.”
Lemberg says that, between October 25, 2014, when Uber began operating in Philadelphia, and April 2015, more than one million Uber rides siphoned business away from the city’s licensed taxicabs. As a result, Coachtrans’ revenues over the past year have declined 30 percent. According to Lemberg, “Uber has been able to afford to undercut Coachtrans, and in turn steal its customers, in large part because it refuses to pay any of the significant expenses, taxes, and fees that medallion taxicab companies are required to pay under state and city laws and regulations.”
According to Lemberg, “Boris Kautsky is not a fat cat taxi oligopolist. He is an honest and hard-working man whose life’s savings have just been destroyed by Uber. We look forward to holding Uber to account.”