ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Monday, March 5, 2018

What does an Uber ride worth over $1,600 look like?

To the New Jersey native it happened to, well, a very costly mistake through several states. 

According to this article, the man called an Uber after going out with friends in West Virginia. He was staying near West Virginia University, but he apparently requested an Uber to drive him to his home...which is in New Jersey. The drive was 300 miles, and problematically the man was drunk and so passed out upon getting into the car. He didn't wake up until two hours into the drive.

The news article is unclear as to the status of the trip. Uber claims the man has agreed to pay the fare; the man says he's contesting the fare because he never requested the Uber drive him to his home. It is true that Uber allows you to store a home address and also pulls up recent destinations when you request a ride, so one could foresee how such a mistake could happen. 

It seems to me from the story that this was more likely user error, as the man was admittedly fairly drunk at the time he ordered the Uber. This also means that the man was probably too intoxicated to comprehend what he was doing as he entered into the agreement with Uber to order the car to take him home, but how was the anonymous Uber app to know? One could, however, foresee a separate confirmation page being necessary if the ride is going to cost more than, say, a thousand dollars (at least), but it's unclear that would have avoided the mistake, as the man may have been too drunk to grasp the import of the message. What should Uber do to try to avoid this sort of mishap? Anyone else have similar Uber mistakes? 

h/t to reader Timothy Murray of Murray, Hogue & Lannis for sending this story to our attention!

Commentary, Current Affairs, In the News, True Contracts, Web/Tech | Permalink


I agree. It is unfortunate that we don't have more of what Prof. Corbin called those "stubborn and impressive facts" to untangle this.

Posted by: Tim Murray | Mar 6, 2018 9:54:28 AM

I don't know the specifics of the facts here - but I doubt this man truly lacked capacity. If he knew he was ordering an uber, he had cognitive capacity. If he made a mistake, I think that is on him.

Posted by: Andrea Boyack | Mar 6, 2018 6:55:31 PM

Yeah. I assume he knew he was ordering the Uber. There's no mention of anyone else calling the Uber for him. Although I know that sometimes that does happen!

Posted by: Stacey | Mar 7, 2018 8:53:26 AM

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