Family Of Lyft Driver Files Wrongful Death
The family of a Lyft driver has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company after their son was shot in the back and killed. According to the lawsuit, the family believes that Lyft knew there was a criminal attacking drivers and did nothing to inform them or otherwise remedy the situation. If true, then Lyft may be culpable in hiding key information that would have given the victim choices when it came to continuing to offer rides. Lyft did not make the driver aware of this situation and he was shot and killed.
Hence, the family wants to hold Lyft accountable for the death. But they must establish that Lyft did, in fact, know about previous incidents concerning the rideshare robber. A secondary claim has also been filed against the family and the mother of the rideshare robber. The family claims that the mother either knew or should have known that her son was targeting rideshare drivers using the app. The lawsuit claims that Lyft and the mother were both in a position to stop the robberies from happening and yet did not intervene.
Analyzing the defense
The defense will claim simply that they did not know that there was a criminal attacking drivers. However, the plaintiffs will press for information related to any police reports or dispatcher communiques that indicate that they did know. So, the plaintiffs need to find the smoking gun which would be a dispatcher having foreknowledge of the attacks prior to the death. If that parcel of information surfaces, the plaintiffs will probably win.
Why? Once Lyft had foreknowledge of the robberies, they would have had a duty of care to inform their drivers of the issue. If they did not, there would be questions as to why. Were they afraid that pulling their vehicles from the area would cost them money? If so, that’s really bad and they could be tapped for punitive damages.
Ultimately, the plaintiffs have a strong basis to press further. But if they can’t find evidence that the dispatchers or Lyft employees knew about the robberies, it would be unclear what duty of care the dispatchers had to the driver. Ultimately, the case hinges on surfacing evidence that Lyft had foreknowledge of the robberies or would have, if they cared.
What if the driver had foreknowledge of the robberies?
That would change the game entirely. Ultimately, Lyft’s duty is to inform the driver, not make decisions on their behalf. A Lyft driver is a contractor. They can take as many rides as they want, deny rides, it’s all up to them. So, if the driver knew there were robberies in the area and elected to continue servicing the area, then Lyft can claim that the victim assumed the duty of care when they consented to the ride. They would be correct, too.
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