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Crash Lawsuit Accuses Uber and Driver of Negligence

April 30, 2020 – Los Angeles, California – – The law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman filed an Uber crash lawsuit this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging negligence against the rideshare company, two subsidiary companies, and one of its drivers.

Attorney Clay Robbins III filed the accident lawsuit (case no. 20STcv16257) on behalf of San Bernardino resident Carter P. Spohn against defendants Uber Technologies Inc. of Delaware; Uber subsidiaries Raiser LLC and Raiser-CA LLC, both of Delaware; and driver Avetik Hakobyan. Mr. Spohn, who was severely injured in a 2018 Uber crash, is seeking damages based on the following causes of action:

  • Negligence (against all defendants)
  • Negligent Hiring, Training, Supervision and Retention (against Uber and Raiser subsidiaries)
  • Negligence Per Se (against all defendants)

Lawsuit Alleges Negligence Caused Serious Injuries in Los Angeles Uber Accident

In September of 2018, Carter Spohn was a backseat passenger of Uber driver Avetik Hakobyan in a 2017 Toyota Camry. At the time, Mr. Hakobyan was driving for and on behalf of Uber and its subsidiary companies, and Mr. Spohn was a user of the vehicle in the Uber app platform.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Hakobyan was traveling westbound on Olympic Blvd. in downtown Los Angeles near L.A. Live when he suddenly executed an illegal and unsafe U-turn, veering into oncoming traffic. Mr. Hakobyan’s vehicle violently struck a Toyota Prius traveling eastbound, causing Mr. Spohn to be slammed forcefully against the right rear passenger door.

Mr. Spohn sustained injuries to the shoulder, hip, and low back in the Uber crash that have had a negative impact on his life. Now, more than 18 months removed from the catastrophic crash, Mr. Spohn needs two surgeries and continues to be in pain and suffers, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Hakobyan’s illegal maneuver was reckless and/or grossly negligent in that it placed not only Mr. Spohn, but also the driver of the Prius, at a clear risk of foreseeable, serious harm. The complaint also accuses Uber of negligently hiring, training, supervising and retaining Mr. Hakobyan, who was inattentive, unsafe and reckless while driving for and on behalf of Uber.

“Uber owes a duty of care to its users to hire and retain only the safest of drivers,” says accident attorney Clay Robbins III. “The Uber driver responsible for attempting a dangerous illegal U-turn in front of oncoming traffic and causing this catastrophic crash was clearly unfit to provide transportation, and, as the lawsuit alleges, Uber knew or should have known that retaining him would lead to the very dangers and harm that forever altered my client’s life.”

Reporting Calls into Question Uber’s Safety Record

In 2018, the same year that Mr. Spohn suffered catastrophic injuries in an Uber crash, the company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi declared in a blog post: “We’ve put safety at the heart of everything we do.”

According to Uber’s own safety report released in December of 2019, however, more than 100 people were killed in Uber accidents in 2017 and 2018. SF Public Press reports that Uber’s report did not include thousands of other accidents involving the Uber app that the company knew about.

A 2015 report compiled by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) found that as of August 2015, ridesharing drivers were involved in 1,100 traffic accidents and incidents per month in the state of California alone. Another report, this one compiled in 2017 by CPUC and the California Department of Insurance, found that ridesharing accidents and incidents between 2014 and 2016 generated 9,388 claims, which resulted in $185.6 million in losses.

About Clay Robbins III

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman attorney Clay Robbins III has more than 30 years of experience handling transportation accident cases against major companies. Throughout his career, Clay has successfully represented victims in hundreds of transportation accident cases, obtaining justice and maximum compensation for his clients.

About Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman

The award-winning law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has been fighting for the rights of accident victims since 1973. Across all areas of practice, our firm has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. With a decades-long track record of success litigating commercial transportation accident cases, pharmaceutical drug cases, product liability cases, class actions, and whistleblower claims, our law firm has earned a reputation for holding negligent companies accountable and securing justice and compensation for our clients.

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