As Uber (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies, Inc. Report often stresses the safety of its cars and drivers, the ride-hailing company faces what could be a serious PR crisis: A Boston man who was left paralyzed by a car accident is suing Uber and the driver for $63 million.
The negligence lawsuit, which was filed in the Superior Court for Suffolk County and was first reported by the Boston Globe, alleges that Uber hired a driver with a poor history that in turn led to 31-year-old Will Good getting injured.
On April 30th, 2021, Good was looking to go home to the Somerville suburb after working a shift at a Boston restaurant. He hailed an Uber. During the ride the driver allegedly made a sharp turn and hit a parked car that threw Good against the passenger's headrest. Good was left paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
The $63 million sought by Good includes compensation for severe physical, mental and emotional injuries sustained from the accident. According to the lawsuit, the driver had a record of around 20 driving citations dating back to 1996 and was once ordered to go through a driving re-training course by the state of Massachusetts.
"The consuming passenger here in Massachusetts is led to believe that Uber is in the business of vetting, screening, and holding its drivers to certain standards, when in fact, that's really not true in many, many cases and that leads directly to what happened here." Victoria Santoro Mair, the attorney representing Good, told the Boston Globe. "Now we have a 31-year-old man who had a life, and a career, that's been completely derailed, completely ruined."
What Will Happen Now?
Uber told TheStreet that it could not comment on the specifics of the case due to pending litigation but said that drivers in Massachusetts undergo a two-part screening process and background check every six months.
Accidents related to ride-hailing cars have led to settlements in the past. In 2018, the family of an Arizona woman killed by a self-driving vehicle settled with Uber for an undisclosed amount.
Since the accident, Good has been struggling with learning to do basic things like prepare food or playing music as he enjoyed doing before — learning to adapt to an entirely new reality, he is often hit with bouts of fear and sadness.
"I don't like the taste of feeling sorry for myself so I try to fill my time with things instead of depression, but it hit when I got home, when I was alone," Good told the Boston Globe.