Criminal Charges Filed against Uber Driver Related to Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claim
In the continuation of one wrongful death lawsuit, an Uber driver in San Francisco has been charged with vehicular manslaughter after hitting a 6-year-old girl at a crosswalk last New Years’ while checking the Uber mobile app.
Syed Muzzafar was charged with vehicular manslaughter on Monday, December 29th. On New Year’s Day this year, Muzzafar was reportedly checking the Uber mobile app to pick up a fare when he struck several members of the Liu family as they were crossing at a crosswalk. He injured two, and killed Sophia Liu, 6 years old. Uber now faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the family as well. Uber maintains that Muzzafar was actually off-duty at the time of teh accident, meaning that the company denies liability for the wrongful death accident. The company also maintains that it is against employment policy for drivers to check the mobile app while driving, because that can lead to dangerous distracted driving accidents.
“The last thing I saw before the Uber driver killed my little girl, and forever changed my life, was him looking down at his phone,” Huan Kuang, the girl’s mother, is quoted as saying in a statement issued by her attorney on Tuesday. “The driver is a man who was working to feed his family and he did wrong, but Uber is the one who makes the drivers look at their phones as part of the way they do business. Uber is just as responsible as Muzzafar, but they say they are not.”
“The design and use of these mobile applications requires drivers to violate the law as they have just seconds to respond to instant messages from Uber or they will lose the fare and receive negative ratings and possible termination of their driver status,” the Liu family’s attorney said in a statement.
Uber has been accused not only of implicitly encouraging distracted driving, which can lead to personal injury and wrongful deaths, but of also failing to screen drivers according to state standards. This can also lead to serious injuries for passengers, including a case involving the rape of a 22-year-old woman.
In Chicago, an unidentified 22-year-old woman said she used the Uber mobile service to catch a ride in November, after a party with coworkers. She was picked up by driver Maxime Fohounhedo, who asked her about 20 minutes later to sit in the front seat with him as he was unfamiliar with the area. Then, he assaulted her in the vehicle and she blacked out; later, she woke up later in an unfamiliar apartment with him on top of her. Fohounhedo has been criminally charged with sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. However, he is only the latest in a string of accusations against Uber drivers, claiming assault and rape.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases
Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800