Taxi aggregators will have to review liability

Taxi aggregators will have to review liability

Elena Grashchenkova, human rights activist in the passenger taxi industry, wants to remove the provision stating that the aggregator is not responsible to the passenger during the trip. In her opinion, it contradicts the law "On Protection of Consumer Rights".

Five years ago, Ms Grashchenkova ordered a taxi and got into an accident: the taxi hit a kerb, a tree and a pole. The woman suffered a broken shoulder and underwent surgery, but was only able to get 300,000 roubles of compensation from Yandex. And this had happened only after three years of court proceedings.

Since then she has called herself a human rights activist in the passenger taxi industry and this time she demands that the aggregators are ought to change their licence agreement as it is contrary to the law "On Protection of Consumer Rights". Yandex.Taxi insists that they are an information service and are not liable for any damage to people's property, health or life.

The license agreement with Yandex, like with other operators, is signed by the user when they first download the app. However, its provisions shall not contradict laws in force, Konstantin Yerokhin, lawyer and partner at J&S Legal Counsels and Trustees, reminds: "Yandex has been trying to behave as a company that bears no responsibility for anything. Probably, after all, the court will ask to exclude this provision and lawmakers declare the supremacy of this law over any such agreements with clients".

Since 2017, the major aggregators such as Yandex, Citymobil and Gett have been automatically insuring passengers during the journey. Exactly what kind of accidents it covers is unclear, but the system works, and it recently paid out a record loss for Russia, says Stanislav Shvagerus, Head of the Competence Center of the International Eurasian Taxi Forum: "Just a month ago the Mari El appeals court decided to make Yandex.Taxi pay an insurance for the death of passengers. It amounted to almost 3 million roubles. The fact that there are such lawsuits and that consumers are defending their rights from big corporations is a positive moment for law-enforcement practice".

And yet passenger insurance in taxis is now voluntary. The payment procedure depends on the contract between the insurer and the aggregator; it is not set out in law. Therefore the sums are often insignificant, even if the person is seriously injured, experts say.


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