Richard Raysman and Peter Brown ()
On Aug. 17, 2017, the Second Circuit issued its decision in Meyer v. Uber Technologies, Inc., 868 F.3d 66 (2d Cir. 2017). The appeals court vacated and remanded the trial court ruling by holding that the registration process for Uber Technologies, Inc.’s mobile application formed a legal contract, thereby requiring the plaintiff to arbitrate his claims that Uber and its then-CEO violated antitrust laws. In doing so, the Second Circuit extended the legal implications of the seeming ubiquity of smartphone use, while also reaffirming the staunch federal court preference towards enforcement of arbitration clauses.
Facts and Procedural Background
The July 2016 email was sent not solely to each plaintiff’s individual email account, because the manner in which it was distributed inadvertently allowed each recipient to see the addresses of 999 other Glassdoor members. Plaintiffs alleged that the July 2016 email violated the Stored Communications Act by inadvertently and publicly exposing addresses of its members.
Legal Analysis and Conclusions
The court cited Meyer on a number of occasions, including with respect to the initial determination of choice of law, as well as the applicable contract interpretation standard. As in Meyer, the applicable state-law principles to the issue of contract, in this case California for Glassdoor and Georgia and New York for plaintiffs, did not substantively differ and therefore “[w]hich state’s law applies is therefore of no moment.” Also, as the Second Circuit held in Meyer, inquiry notice to the plaintiffs satisfactory to manifest assent and therefore form a valid contract required that the “undisputed facts establish” that plaintiffs’ had “reasonably conspicuous notice of the existence of the contract terms and unambiguous manifestation of assent” by registering for an account with Glassdoor.
Consequently, the court granted Glassdoor’s motion to compel arbitration. However, it stayed the case—rather than dismissing it—even though plaintiffs’ claims were directed to arbitration. See Katz v. Cellco P’ship, 794 F.3d 341 (2d Cir. 2015). The court also noted that it “makes no determination on the merits” of plaintiffs’ claims.