Uber sued for wrongful death of 6-year-old girl in San Francisco

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the on-demand car service Uber in connection with the death of a 6-year-old girl.
January 27, 2014 6:17:05 PM PST
A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the on-demand car service Uber. The suit is the result of the death of a 6-year-old girl on New Year's Eve in San Francisco.

Six-year-old Sofia Liu was in a crosswalk on Polk and Ellis Streets when, police say, 57-year-old Syed Muzzafar hit her. The driver worked out of his own car for the on-demand car service Uber. The question is whether Muzzafar was working for Uber when the accident occurred. Now the family is suing both the driver and the company.

"What he was, was on their app available for people to pick him as a driver, which is the very essence of Uber's business," said family attorney Christopher Dolan.

Liu's mother suffered broken bones. Her eyes were swollen shut and had to return to the hospital for surgery. Her 5-year-old son was also injured.

"I feel very sorry for her. I cannot save her life. The driver kill her," she said.

The suit claims Uber is responsible for Sofia's death because the driver was on Uber's app at the time of the crash.

In a statement, the company insists it is not responsible because: "The driver was not providing services on the Uber system during the time of the accident." Meaning, there was no passenger in the car.

The company is denying insurance protection to cover Muzzafar and the Liu family.

On demand car services like Uber are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. Taxis in San Francisco fall under the jurisdiction of the city.

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim says it's time to scrutinize the so-called transportation network companies like Uber.

"I think that it is fair that if you turn on your Uber application, or another ride-share application as a driver, that you are then providing TNC services," said Kim.

If the case makes it to court, it will be up to a jury to decide if Muzzafar was on his own or was working for Uber when he killed the little girl.


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