United States District Court, E.D. New York
JOSE ORTEGA and JOCE MARTINEZ, on their own behalf, and on behalf of those similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
UBER TECHNOLOGIES INC., RASDER, LLC, UBER USA LLC, UBER NEW YORK LLC, UBER TRANSPORTATION LLC, and JOHN DOE "UBER AFFILIATES, " Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
NICHOLAS G. GARAUFIS, United States District Judge.
March 7, 2017,  the court issued a Memorandum and Order
granting Defendants' motion to compel arbitration as to
all claims brought by Plaintiff Joce Martinez and granting in
part and denying in part Defendants' motion to dismiss
claims brought by Plaintiff Jose Ortega. (Mar. 7, 2017, Mem.
& Order ("Mem. & Order") (Dkt. 42).) On
March 22, 2017, Plaintiffs moved for "reconsideration
and/or clarification" of two parts of the court's
decision. (See Mot. for Recons. ("Pls. Mot.") (Dkt.
44).) For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiffs' motion
court assumes the parties' familiarity with the facts and
procedural history of the case and so limits its discussion
to the background relevant to the present motions. Plaintiffs
brought this action in December 2011, alleging among other
claims that Defendants (referred to collectively as
"Uber") induced Plaintiffs (and other drivers)
through false advertisements to drive for Uber (see Am.
Compl. (Dkt. 16) ¶¶ 144-153) and breached its
contracts (sometimes referred to as "service
agreements") with Plaintiffs by, among other things,
inflating the "service fee" charged to drivers (id
at 132-33). Uber moved to dismiss all of Plaintiffs'
claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. (Mot. to Dismiss (Dkt. 22).) Uber separately moved
to compel individual arbitration as to all of Martinez's
claims on the basis of an arbitration provision contained
within the operative service agreement. (See
generally Defs. Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Compel
Arbitration (Dkt. 20).)
March 7, 2017, Memorandum and Order, the court agreed with
Uber that Martinez had agreed not only to arbitrate his
claims against Uber but also to "submit to an arbitrator
any disputes relating to the interpretation or application of
the arbitral clause." (See Mem. & Order at
17.) The court also concluded that Ortega had not made out a
sufficient claim for breach of contract. (See id. at
39-41.) Accordingly, the court dismissed Ortega's breach
of contract claim (among other claims) and held that Martinez
was compelled to submit all of his claims to arbitration.
(Id. at 48.)
March 22, 2017, Plaintiffs filed the present motion for
reconsideration. (See generally Pls. Mot.)
Defendants submitted their opposition on April 29, 2017.
(Defs. Opp'n to Pls. Mot. (Dkt. 49).)
Local Rule 6.3, a party may move for reconsideration of a
previously issued order by filing a notice of motion and
memorandum identifying "the matters or controlling
decisions which counsel believes the Court has
overlooked." Local Civ. R. 6.3. The standard for a
motion for reconsideration is "strict, and
reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving
party can point to controlling decisions or data that the
court overlooked-matters, in other words, that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the
court." Schrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d
255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). Parties moving for reconsideration
must generally show "an intervening change in
controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the
need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest
injustice." Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil of Tartikov.
Inc. v. YLL Irrevocable Trust 729 F.3d 99, 104 (2d Cir.
2013) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
"A party seeking reconsideration may neither repeat
arguments already briefed, considered and decided nor advance
new facts, issues or arguments not previously presented to
the Court." Schoolcraft v. City of N.Y., -
F.Supp.3d -, No. 10-CV-6005 (RWS), 2017 WL 1194703, at *1
(S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2017) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). "It is within the sound discretion of
the district court whether or not to grant a motion for
reconsideration." Markel Am. Ins. Co. v.
Linhart No. 1 l-CV-5094 (SJF) (GRB), 2012 WL 5879107, at
*2 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 16, 2012).
ask the court to reconsider its determinations that (1)
Martinez's false advertising claim is subject to
arbitration under his contract with Uber; and (2) Ortega
failed to state a claim for breach of contract. The court
examines the requests for reconsideration separately and
concludes that Plaintiffs fail to provide a sufficient basis
to merit revising the prior order.
Arbitrability of Martinez's False Advertising Claim
heart of Martinez's motion is his argument that a
contract's arbitration provisions cannot be extended to
cover disputes that arose prior to contracting. (See
Pls. Mot. at 1.) He raised this argument in his opposition to
Uber's motion to compel (see Pls. Mem. in Opp'n to
Mot. to Compel (Dkt. 25) at 23-24), and correctly notes that
the court did not directly address this point in its decision
(Pls. Mot. at 2-3). Pointing to the language of the relevant
arbitration provision, which states that it "applies to
all disputes between [the driver] and Uber" (Ex. F to
Decl. in Supp. of Mot. to Compel ("Dec. 2015
Agreement") (Dkt. 21-6) § 15.3(i)), Martinez argues
that he could not have agreed to arbitrate his false
advertising claims, as they predate his agreement to
arbitrate (Pls. Mot. at 2).
court's previous opinion concluded not only that Martinez
agreed to arbitrate his claims against Uber but also that he
agreed to delegate the question of arbitrability itself to
the arbitrator. (Mem. & Order at 16-20.) In other words,
Martinez agreed that the arbitrator should decide "(1)
whether there exists a valid agreement to arbitrate at all
under the contract in question... and if so, (2) whether the
particular dispute sought to be arbitrated falls within the
scope of the arbitration agreement." See Hartford
Ace. & Indem. Co. v. Swiss Reins. Am. Corp., 246
F.3d 219, 226 (2d Cir. 2001) (alteration in original)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted); see
also Guan v. Uber Techs. Inc.. - F.Supp.3d - No.
16-CV-598 (PKC) (CLP), 2017 WL 744564, at *10 (E.D.N.Y.Feb.
23, 2017) (discussing the scope of delegation under the same
arbitration provision considered here). Whether
Martinez's false advertising claims fall inside the scope
of the claims covered by the arbitration clause is thus
squarely within the realm of decisions that Martinez