Family of 6-Year-Old Files Wrongful Death Suit against Online Ride-Sharing Company

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The family of a girl who was struck by a car and killed in a San Francisco crosswalk filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver’s contract employer, an Internet ride-sharing service company.

The Union-Tribune San Diego reports that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sofia Liu who was 6 years old when she was killed on New Year’s Eve. She was crossing the street with her mother and brother in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood when they were struck by a Honda driven by 57-year-old Syed Muzaffar of Union City.

At the time, Muzaffar was a contract driver for Uber, an Internet service that allows drivers to register and pick up passengers looking to pay for a ride, matching drivers to riders through a smartphone app. The lawsuit alleges that both Muzaffar and Uber are responsible for the girl’s death because the driver was working and available through the service at the time of the accident.

Police confirmed that Muzaffar was logged onto the Uber application when he struck the girl. He has been charged with failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. He is currently out on bail, reports the Union-Tribune.

In a previous statement, Uber claimed that Muzaffar “was not providing services on the Uber system during the time of the accident.” The driver’s account was deactivated by the company after the accident. However, Muzaffar’s attorney states that his client had driven at least one other Uber fare earlier that night and was logged into the available driver system as confirmed by police.

Christopher Dolan, the attorney for the Liu family, says that Uber must be held responsible for the actions of its drivers, just as they share in the profits.

“Their use of the app creates an unlawful risk of distraction that leads to the very type of injury and death we see here,” Dolan told the Union Tribune.

When fatal accidents like this occur, the family has a right to sue the responsible parties. To talk with an experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer in San Diego, contact The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. today.

NOTE: The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. is not representing the family in this case.