A lawsuit filed in a California court recently has shed some light on the dangerous practices of rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft. The lawsuit is seeking damages from Lyft due to the death of a Lyft passenger.
According to the lawsuit, the Lyft passenger went to a bar in West Hollywood in January 2018 with some friends. His friend ordered him a Lyft vehicle to transport him to his friend’s house. When the vehicle arrived, the passenger sat in the front seat with the driver. At some point, a dispute developed, and the driver pulled the vehicle over, stopped on the busy freeway, pepper-sprayed and ejected the passenger from the Lyft car, leaving him on the shoulder of the freeway. The passenger was later struck by another vehicle along the freeway. The driver failed to stop. The accident victim was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The lawsuit alleges that Lyft was negligent in its treatment of the passenger, because the company failed to use reasonable care in transporting him. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Lyft is negligent in its hiring, retention, and training of drivers. According to the lawsuit, the process to become a Lyft driver is entirely online. Applicants are not required to take training classes or pass road tests. Instead, they merely must complete an online application, undergo a background and driving record check, and pass a vehicle inspection. The background checks are outsourced to a third-party company, and only go back seven years. The lawsuit claims that as a result, passengers can be exposed to unsafe and unfit drivers.
Any common carriers, which are companies or individuals who transport passengers for money, have a duty to use the utmost care in keeping those passengers safe. If they fail in their duties, they can be held liable for damages.
If you have been harmed by the wrongful actions of a rideshare company, such as Uber or Lyft, call me, Conal Doyle, rideshare negligence attorney, at 310-385-0567. My firm can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.