A New Jersey law requiring “transportation network companies” to provide at least $1.5 million in underinsured motorist coverage does not apply to food delivery services like Uber Eats, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Tuesday, in a case involving a motorcyclist who was injured when you delivers food.
Scott C. Malzberg, who had signed up with Portier LLC, a subsidiary of Uber Technologies Inc., to use his personal motorcycle to deliver food on behalf of Uber Eats, was injured when he collided with a car. His injuries exceeded the limits of the driver’s personal insurance, according to the judgment in Scott C. Malzberg v. Caren L. Josey, James River Insurance Co., et al.
Malzberg filed suit against defendants including Uber insurer James River Insurance Co., alleging that New Jersey̵7;s Transportation Network Co. The Safety and Regulatory Act, which requires transportation network companies to provide at least $1.5 million in underinsured motorist coverage, applies to food delivery services. . The James River policy does not provide underinsured motorist benefits, the ruling said.
A lower court ruled in favor of James Rivers and was affirmed by a three-judge, Jersey City-based appeals court panel. “Nothing in the statutory text or legislative history of TNCSRA indicates that the Legislature intended to regulate app-based food delivery services,” the decision said.
The ruling states that there is pending legislation in New Jersey that would supplement the TNCSRA to provide underinsured motorist coverage for the delivery of goods, but “We decline to venture an opinion as to whether that pending legislation supports or undermines plaintiff’s arguments on this appeal.”
Mr. Malzberg’s attorney, Grace E. Robol, a senior associate with Davis, Saperstein & Salomon PC in Teaneck, New Jersey, said, “We are of course disappointed by the appeals court’s ruling, but understand the logic” that there is “nothing in the text or legislative history that includes drivers of food deliveries, and unfortunately it appears that food delivery drivers are not aware of this gap in coverage.”
James Rivers’ attorney did not respond to a request for comment.