| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Jan 27 The family of a young girl
killed by a driver affiliated with fast-growing private
transportation service Uber sued the company on Monday, claiming
it should be liable for the child's death.
On New Year's Eve Sofia Liu, 6, her mother and younger
brother were hit by a car in a San Francisco cross-walk and Liu
died, according to the lawsuit. At the time of the crash, driver
Syed Muzzafar was logged on to the Uber X smartphone app and was
available to provide rides, the lawsuit said.
In a statement immediately after the San Francisco crash,
Uber said the tragedy did not involve a vehicle "doing a trip on
the Uber system," and that Uber "deactivated" the driver's
account. The company declined further comment on Monday.
Uber lets people summon rides at the touch of a smartphone
button and has entered more than 60 markets, ranging from its
hometown of San Francisco to Berlin and Tokyo.
Leaked financials in December indicated that the company,
which began connecting passengers with drivers of vehicles for
hire about 3-1/2 years ago, is generating $200 million a year in
revenue beyond what it pays to drivers. The
lawsuit did not specify an amount of damages sought.
Uber X is a lower-cost version of the transportation service
with drivers using everyday vehicles, rather than black town
cars. The lawsuit alleges Uber X drivers must respond quickly to
a request for service using the company's app, and this leads to
distracted driving in violation of California vehicle laws.
After the San Francisco crash, Muzzafar was arrested on
suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and
released on bail, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Muzzafar
is also listed as a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit. His
attorney could not immediately comment.
The case in San Francisco Superior Court is Ang Liang Liu et
al. vs. Uber Technologies et al., 14-536979.