Uber sued by family of 6-year-old girl killed by UberX driver
The family of a 6-year-old girl who was killed in San Francisco when a driver working for Uber ran her over along with her mother and little brother has filed a wrongful death suit against the app-based car hiring service.
Sofia Liu was hit and killed on New Year's Eve in San Francisco's Tenderloin District by a Honda Pilot driven by Syed Muzaffar, a 57-year-old IT professional who recently started working for Uber's budget service UberX. Muzaffar was making a right turn at the intersection of Polk and Ellis streets while waiting to be contacted by his next customer when he struck Liu, her mother Huan Kuang and her 5-year-old brother, Anthony Liu. Sofia died. Her mother and brother were injured.
Muzaffar was arrested at the scene and later released on $300,000 bail. His lawyer, Graham Archer, told Bloomberg that his client is "absolutely distraught." Muzaffar faces charges of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
The lawsuit says that both Uber and Muzaffar are responsible for the girl's death. Uber declined to comment, though it said in a previous statement that Muzaffar "was not providing services on the Uber system during the time of the accident." But Archer says that Muzaffar had dropped off one Uber client and was logged onto the app to accept other fares.
Uber's basic position is that its drivers are only working for Uber when they are serving clients. The Liu family's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, says that because Uber profits from its drivers, it must share responsibility for the consequences of their actions. The lawsuit argues further that Uber's app violates a California law that aimed at reducing distracted driving, because Uber's drivers have to use the Uber app while they are driving.
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