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Read Case 5.1 and answer the following questions: 1) This lawsuit was filed by

Read Case 5.1 and answer the following questions:
1) This lawsuit was filed by

Read Case 5.1 and answer the following questions:
1) This lawsuit was filed by two women, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, who were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers. As the court notes, Doe 1 and Doe 2 sued Uber for various tort claims, including battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Obviously, Uber itself (the corporate entity) cannot commit certain torts like battery, but its employees can. What theory of liability (the Latin phrase) did Doe 1 and Doe 2 present as the basis for holding Uber, rather than the actual perpetrators, liable for the Uber drivers’ torts?
2) This case presented two legal issues for the court. The first legal issue is whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors. In this lawsuit, Uber’s lawyers argued that its drivers were independent contractors. Why did Uber make this argument? In other words, what is the legal significance of being an independent contractor, rather than an employee, in a case like this where the worker at issue has committed various torts while performing their work for the employer?
3) An important aspect of this case is its procedural context, specifically, a motion to dismiss where the defendant argues that the plaintiffs’ complaint fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted or that the allegations of the complaint are simply insufficient to rule in the plaintiffs’ favor. When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court will seek to determine whether the plaintiff’s complaint “contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim . . . that is plausible on its face.” With this standard in mind, why did the court find the factual allegations of the plaintiffs’ complaint sufficient to claim that these drivers were employees, rather than independent contractors? In other words, why were the facts as alleged sufficient to withstand the defendant’s motion to dismiss on this first legal issue of employee versus independent contractor?
4) At the top of page 123 (Ch. 5-2c), Bagley states that “[w]hether a person is an independent contractor or an employee depends on what he or she does, not on how the relationship is characterized by the parties.” In other words, simply labeling a worker an independent contractor does not make them so if the realities of the employment situation suggest that worker is actually an employee. Why do you think that courts do not allow employers to decide for themselves a worker’s proper classification? Hint: Review Chapter 5-2c.
5) In the “Comments” section at the end of this case, the author notes that Uber has faced numerous lawsuits in various states regarding the proper classification of its drivers, and that different courts have come to different conclusions on that issue. Does it make sense to you that an injured customer could hold an employer like Uber vicariously liable for an employee’s sexual assault (or other tortious conduct) in one state, but not in another? Why or why not?
6) As noted, this case presented two legal issues for the court. The second issue is whether “sudden sexual assaults” by Uber drivers are outside the scope of an Uber driver’s duties under California law. How did the court rule on that issue and what was the court’s reasoning to support that decision?
7) In the end, the court denied Uber’s motion to dismiss the claims against Uber because the plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged facts (1) to suggest the Uber drivers were employees, rather than independent contractors; and (2) to support the claim that the drivers were acting within the scope of employment when they assaulted the plaintiffs. As would be expected, Uber then settled the case with Doe 1 and Doe 2 (but the settlement terms were not made public). In your opinion, what was the most interesting or surprising aspect of this case?
8) Overall, this case shows how critical it is for employers and courts to properly distinguish between employees and independent contractors. In your opinion, if you were the judge in this case, would you find that Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors? What would be the basis for your opinion?

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