There is no denying that ridesharing companies have completely revolutionized the American transportation industry. In fact, Lyft, one of the most profitable ride-hailing giants in the country, reportedly completed 1 billion rides during a 9-month period in 2018. Lyft’s success as a company is tied directly to the simplicity of its business model: a customer downloads an app, inputs their credit card or PayPal information, and then orders a convenient ride at a reasonable price.
But can we trust the stranger behind the wheel?
Like other ridesharing companies, Lyft has been cutting corners by hiring untrained, inexperienced, and even dangerous drivers. Recently, the company was even cited for failing to weed out violent and unstable applicants during the hiring process. To protect the wellbeing of potential passengers, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) has initiated a campaign entitled “Who’s Driving You?” Their website lists a series of incidents where rideshare passengers were either harmed or tormented by their drivers. This isn’t a new problem, but Lyft hasn’t updated its hiring practices.
On October 17, 2018, Kristy Gomez ordered a Lyft ride to the Kaiser hospital in Sacramento, where she was planning to meet and pick up her husband. The 25-mile trip quickly turned into a rideshare nightmare when the driver started engaging in erratic and life-threatening behaviors. In an interview with CBS, Gomez describes how the driver removed his hands from the steering wheel to cover his eyes, exclaiming, “Tell me when to go, when to turn. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t go through life anymore.”
The driver started laughing and crying simultaneously, prompting Gomez to discreetly text her husband and mother for help. However, she had no way to contact the authorities other than call 911, which is likely to have even further agitate the driver. When she asked the driver why he was crying, he responded, “I am mourning for you.” Gomez was finally able to convince the driver to pull over at a Natomas Shopping Center so that she could “go to the bathroom.” Once she was out of the car, Gomez fled to a nearby Starbucks, locked herself in a bathroom, and dialed 911.
Sacramento Police later found the driver locked in a gas station bathroom. According to their report, the driver covered himself with soap and tried to bite one of the officers. The driver was taken into custody and put on a mental health hold. Because this is a medical issue, the driver will not face any criminal charges. Gomez must live with the fact that Lyft screened and selected the driver to come to her home to drive her but failed to properly screen its driver and failed to provide a mechanism to alert the authorities to a life-threatening situation without further putting her in danger.
McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP Files Complaint Against Lyft
As previously stated, many Lyft drivers have been arrested for violent and sexual crimes in the past. Despite being aware of this problem, Lyft has failed to take action to adequately screen their drivers and continues to place passengers and the general public at risk with its negligent hiring practices.
Attorneys Richard D. McCune and Mark I. Richards of McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP are representing Kristy Gomez in her lawsuit against the Lyft driver and Lyft, Inc. Our firm has filed a complaint on behalf of Plaintiff, who is seeking recovery for injuries suffered as a result of Lyft’s negligent hiring practices.
Have You Been Harmed by a Rideshare Driver? Call McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP Today
Like most companies, Lyft will never change until it’s forced to confront the legal and financial consequences of its negligent hiring practices. Contact the lawyers at McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP if you or a loved one has been harmed by the actions of a rideshare driver. Our compassionate and trial-tested legal team can investigate your case, aggressively litigate against corporate legal teams, and do everything in our power to help you obtain a sense of justice and restitution.