(credit: Andrea Vallejos)
As expected, San Francisco’s largest traditional taxi company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, court records show.
According to a Friday filing, Yellow Cab Co-Op owes over $20 million in disputed claims under civil litigation, related arbitration and mediation, and other debts. The company’s troubles come as the taxi industry as a whole has simultaneously been squeezed by startup newcomers such as Uber, Lyft, and the recently defunct Sidecar. Those companies are regulated under California’s “transportation networking company” (TNC) law, which is separate from traditional taxi law.
Yellow Cab Co-Op’s largest creditor is a woman who was awarded an $8 million judgement in 2015 after she sustained very serious injuries in a 2011 taxi crash. In that San Francisco case, known as Fua v. Yellow Cab, the company argued that the driver was not an employee and therefore the company was not liable. Curiously, this is similar to arguments that Uber, Lyft, and like firms have made. Uber in particular is being sued over whether its drivers should be treated as employees or contractors.
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