Photo courtesy Uber
Photo courtesy Uber

Uber is being sued after one of its drivers allegedly caused serious injuries to a man by making a U-turn in front of the plaintiff’s motorcycle and causing a collision after being distracted.

Cuyler Mayer filed the suit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, naming Uber Technologies Inc., Uber subsidiary Raisier LLC and Uber driver Syed Fakhar Shah. The negligent suit seeks unspecified damages.

“The negligence of Uber drivers, many untrained, unskilled and urged by Uber to drive in a risky manner to maximize their fares, has caused countless horrific injuries and deaths,” according to the lawsuit. “For years, Uber has shirked responsibility.”

An Uber representative did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment. Uber was also in the news this week as it faced possible existential challenges after a legal ruling defined drivers as employees and not contractors.

In the lawsuit over the motorcycle crash, the plaintiff states that Mayer was riding his motorcycle in the right lane on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles about 6:05 p.m. last Nov. 27. At the same time, Shaw was driving a 2014 Toyota Corolla along the same thoroughfare in the left lane, according to the complaint.

“Mr. Shah was receiving numerous web and text-based communications through his Uber application and was receiving a passenger request on his cell phone,” the suit states. “Mr. Shah was in a position in which he was distracted from the road and made an unsafe U-turn across the (left) lane without checking for other drivers, such as Mr. Mayer.”

Shah’s car and Mayer’s motorcycle collided, causing the plaintiff to fall off and strike Shah’s windshield and hood, the suit states. Mayer then fell to the ground unconscious despite wearing apparel designed to protect him against injuries, the suit states.

Mayer was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for treatment of injuries that included a broken fibula, an injured neck and severe bruising, the suit states.

The suit alleges Uber drivers derive an economic benefit through their Uber application and that the company instructs them to keep it open while driving.

Uber knew or should have known that its application “posed a significant risk of distracting Uber drivers … and placed the general public and plaintiff at risk of great bodily harm” while also violating the state Vehicle Code, the suit states.

The suit further alleges that Uber rates its drivers according to a speedy pickup time, increasing the risk of accidents such as that involving Mayer.

—City News Service

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