(Reuters) - The Uber driver in Michigan charged with murdering six people last month in a shooting spree has filed a $10 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the ride-sharing company, saying that it is Uber’s fault he is in prison, court records show.
Jason Dalton, 45, filed the two-page, handwritten lawsuit against Uber in U.S. District Court in Detroit UBER.UL on Tuesday, saying the company ruined his life and never invited him to any “corporate parties.”
“Uber doesn’t care about its drivers. We are peasants and pawn pieces to Uber’s bottom line,” Dalton wrote, adding that the company discriminates against him because of his mental health. “I‘m currently in prison because of Uber.”
Dalton wrote that he is seeking a jury trial and would represent himself in court.
Dalton is charged with shooting eight people, killing six of them, over a five-hour period on Feb. 20 in between driving customers for the Uber car service in Kalamazoo, which is about 150 miles (240 km) west of Detroit. Police said last month that Dalton admitted to the shootings.
“It’s hard to know how to respond to someone who refuses to take responsibility for his own actions,” Uber said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the victims’ families who have to live with the consequences of his terrible crimes.”
Dalton told investigators that the Uber ride-sharing app had the ability to “take over” his body, local media outlets reported on Monday.
Dalton told police that when he would press a button on his phone screen, the horned cow head of a devil would appear and give him an assignment that he said would “literally take over” his body, local television station WZZM reported.
He faces 16 charges, including six of murder that can bring life in prison.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler