Uber Technologies has tentatively agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a six-year-old girl killed by a car one of the company’s drivers was operating. The young girl was reportedly killed and her brother and mother injured when they were hit by a driver logged into Uber’s system while crossing the street in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve in 2013. According to court documents, the family blames the accident on Uber’s requirement that drivers must use the mobile app while they are driving.
As of mid-July, Uber (a well-known ride-sharing service) and the family had reached a tentative settlement in the case. However, Uber has not commented publicly on the matter since then.
Whenever an Uber user requests a driver in the nearby area, the driver must respond quickly if he or she hopes to get the job — otherwise, other drivers in the area have the opportunity to claim it. The need for drivers to issue a quick response means it’s more likely that drivers will be using the app while behind the wheel, causing distractions. Distracted drivers are dangerous, as they are less likely to notice hazards in the road, such as pedestrians crossing the street.
After the collision, an Uber official said the driver was not working for the company when the accident occurred and that his account was deactivated.
In the lawsuit, the family is seeking damages for negligence in a motor vehicle, wrongful death, negligence, strict product liability, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision and hiring retention, loss of consortium, negligence per se and wrongful death survival action. A specific amount of compensation was not specified.
If you believe a loved one died due to the irresponsible actions of another party, you may be able to seek damages through a wrongful death claim. To learn more, speak with a dedicated San Diego attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.