The family of 6-year-old Sofia Liu, who was struck and killed by an UberX driver in the Tenderloin on New Year's Eve, is suing Uber for wrongful death related to the incident. In this post-Twitter legal landscape, the family's high profile attorney Christopher Dolan tweeted out the news on Monday morning. The complaint states that Uber shares responsibility for the girl's death because it also shares profits with drivers.
Earlier this month, Uber distanced themselves from 57-year-old driver Syed Muzzafar because he "was not providing services on the Uber system during the time of the accident." Muzzafar was not carrying passengers, but told police he was searching for fares at the time. He was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk after the incident. He has not yet faced criminal charges.
The complaint from Dolan's law firm (available in .pdf form here) also states that Uber's app, which drivers usually leave running on their dashboard-mounted phones, violates California's handsfree laws designed to avoid distracted drivers.
"Uber shares in the profits of its drivers and must share in the responsibility for the harms they cause," Dolan wrote in a statement. "The use of the Uber app. by drivers violates California laws designed to eliminate driver distraction. Drivers are constantly interacting with their mobile devices creating serious risk to both passengers and the community. "
Uber, so far, has yet to comment on the new accusations brought up by today's lawsuit.