As 2017 draws to a close and we look forward to some time off for festive fun before regrouping in 2018, let’s have a look back on some of the more interesting cases from the last 12 months.
2017 was not a good year for Nicole Bailey who found herself convicted of theft for pocketing a £20 note found discarded in a shop.
Uber’s nightmare year
It was also an ‘annus horribilis’ for Uber who found itself on the wrong end of a number of decisions, including both the ruling by Transport for London that it was not a ‘fit and proper’ company to hold a private hire licence in the capital and the Employment Tribunal’s decision that its drivers were entitled to employment rights that apply to ‘workers’. But earlier in the year, perhaps in a warning of things to come, Uber found itself being sued for €45 million by a Frenchman who held it responsible for the failure of his marriage.
The man had used his wife’s phone to log into his Uber account. He claimed that Uber then continued to send notifications about his movements to that phone despite him having logged out of his account. His wife was clearly not happy with the implications of the notifications she received which the husband blamed for her subsequently divorcing him.
No more aces left to play
2017 was also not a good year for bridge as it failed in its latest bid (see what we did there?) to be recognised as a sport. As we’ve reported previously, recognition would not only mean top players could claim to be international sportsmen and women, but that the English Bridge Union (EBU) could reclaim VAT on its membership fees.
After losing in the UK courts, the controversial issue was referred to the European Court of Justice as the underlying legislation, giving tax breaks to services closely linked with sports, originated from the EU VAT Directive. But the ECJ held that, no matter how vigorously cards were played or winning tricks celebrated, bridge was ‘characterised by a physical element that appeared to be negligible’ and so failed to qualify as a sport. Will Brexit give the EBU an opportunity to challenge Europe’s decision? We’ll have to wait and see.
Cinema and first date etiquette
Everyone loves a Christmas movie but if you’re tempted to take one in on a first date over the holidays, it might be wise to agree some ground rules first. Texting during a film is one of the ‘biggest pet peeves’ of Brandon Vezmar from Austin, Texas. So imagine his disappointment when, according to him, his new date used her phone up to 20 times during the first 15 minutes of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’ to read and send texts.
Actually, there’s no need to imagine as Mr Vezmar made his disappointment abundantly clear by suing his date for the cost of the cinema ticket – the grand sum of $17.31 (about £13). Something to bear in mind before reaching for your mobile during a romantic trip to see ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ these holidays.
Merry Christmas everyone!