Is Uber Responsible for the Actions of Its Drivers?

Posted on March 7, 2018 by Selingo Guagliardo

The rideshare economy is one of the most lucrative in today’s modern world, but safety issues have many people worried about whether their ride will be safe. That’s the subject of a new Pennsylvania lawsuit that is taking Uber to court over an unsafe driver. But will the company be held responsible for the actions of this driver?

Can Rideshare Companies Be Held Responsible for Their Drivers’ Actions?

It was around 4:30 in the morning on June 21, 2017, when a woman was picked up by an Uber driver for a ride to Philadelphia International Airport. As the ride got underway, the rider noticed that her driver’s speech was slurred, and the driver appeared agitated. The rider then asked her driver to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike, since she believed it would be the faster route. That’s when the woman driving the Uber ride suddenly became agitated, saying that she didn’t have an E-ZPass—which is required for the toll road.

The woman riding to the airport offered to pay the $41 fine that the driver would incur by taking the turnpike, and the driver agreed. But a little while later, the driver claimed that she was afraid that her car could be stopped and searched by the police. The conflict escalated further and before long the passenger was kicked out of the car near the Route 309 exit.

The woman walked a quarter of a mile before throwing her luggage over a fence and climbing over. She sought safety at a nearby Best Western, where she called for a taxi so she could continue her trip. She finally managed to arrive at the airport two hours later, but by then, her flight had left.

After contacting Uber, this woman was only offered a $41 credit for another Uber ride, and it seemed that the company was not going to address the issue. The woman filed a lawsuit, but it was only after a local television station inquired with Uber about the lawsuit that she found out that the driver had been suspended. Still feeling that Uber misrepresented the safety of their services, her lawsuit is continuing.

Uber and other rideshare companies have had a very spotty record when it comes to the safety of their passengers. Sexual assaults, attacks, and impaired or intoxicated drivers have led to several lawsuits and police intervention in some cases. That makes it critical for you to contact an attorney if you have an incident involving an Uber driver. You have rights in these instances, and an attorney can help ensure these rights are not ignored.