A lawsuit was filed against Uber over the summer after an elderly man was struck by one of the company’s drivers in Atlanta. According to an article published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, L.C. Nunn, 89, was struck on Phipps Boulevard by driver Oluwametemi Alami in February 2017. Nunn succumbed to his injuries and passed away a week later. In June his family charged the popular ride-share company with negligence that ultimately lead to the senior citizen’s death.
World War II veteran L.C. Nunn was out for a morning walk on February 16, 2017 when he was struck by Alami. Alami, a DeKalb County resident, was driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla at the time of the accident. While Nunn survived the initial impact, he suffered bruises and pain throughout his body and passed away a week later from his injuries. Alami received a police citation for failing to yield and claimed she did not see Nunn crossing the street when the collision occurred.
This incident is not the first time that Uber has faced lawsuits in the Atlanta area. In March 2016, an accident involving an Uber driver striking a motorcyclist took place in Cobb County. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Alexander Reyes was struck by Uber driver Celestine Kiprono on March 20, 2016 around 2 p.m. Reyes was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital. After being charged with a wrongful death claim, Uber demanded the victim’s family settle for 1 million dollars the following summer. The litigation is still pending.
Since the company’s launch in 2009, Uber Technologies Inc. has undergone a multitude of lawsuits from passengers, governmental bodies, taxi alliances and even drivers for the company itself. In a an article released by CNN Tech, Uber was facing over 70 pending lawsuits in August 2016. Amongst these lawsuits included an allegation of fraud against the company after two different women were sexually assaulted by drivers as well as a wrongful death lawsuit after a 6-year-old girl was struck and killed by a driver in 2013. All of these lawsuits share the common issue of safety in regards to Uber’s policies and regulation on background checks for its drivers and whether or not Uber should be responsible for the actions of its drivers, as the company technically deems them as “contractors.”
Uber Technologies Inc. states that their background check protocol includes a screening of a Motor Vehicle Record and criminal background check. The background check depends on local requirements and criteria which can vary from state to state. Furthermore, Uber provides driver profiles in advance of riders being picked up, giving riders the chance to cancel a ride if they feel uncomfortable. In regards to driver safety, the company’s website provides a list of recommendations to help “keep the roads safe for everyone.” These recommendations includes watching out for pedestrians and bikers, maintaining focus while driving and always calling 911 after an emergency situation. Visit Uber’s website to learn more about their safety policy for both drivers and riders.
The lawsuit filed against Uber by Nunn’s family stated that Uber was negligent in allowing Alabi to drive for the company from the start. The suit also suggested if Uber had instated a better vetting process for its drivers, more accidents, like the one that took the life of L.C. Nunn, could be prevented. Alabi has been banned from driving for the company since the accident’s investigation.
While Uber has become a convenient way of transportation, it’s important to consider the potential risks ridesharing poses to both passengers and surrounding individuals before embarking on a ride. Both the accidents involving Nunn and Reyes included drivers who were either on-duty or carrying passengers. When getting in the car to start an Uber ride, be sure to remain aware and alert throughout the duration of the trip. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or a wrongful death due to an Uber driver in a car accident, contact one of our attorneys at Schneider Hammers today. We will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.