Uber settles wrongful death lawsuit in San Francisco crash

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Ride service Uber has reached a tentative settlement in a lawsuit brought by the family of a 6-year-old girl who died in a San Francisco car accident, according to court filings.

Attorney Christopher Dolan gestures during a news conference in San Francisco, California January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The girl, Sofia Liu, died after she, her younger brother and their mother were hit by a car in a San Francisco cross-walk on New Year’s Eve in 2013. At the time of the crash, the driver was logged on to the Uber X smartphone app and was available to provide rides, the lawsuit said.

Liu’s family asked the court to keep terms of the settlement with Uber confidential, court filings show, citing the privacy of her brother.

Representatives for Uber and an attorney for the family could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Uber is one of the best known sharing-economy companies. Its business has expanded to 57 countries and its estimated value has exploded to more than $40 billion.

But it has generated controversy or outright opposition around the world. The company is involved in several legal proceedings to determine whether its drivers are independent contractors or employees entitled to benefits.

That debate spilled into U.S. presidential politics this week, with Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton saying on-demand companies raise “hard questions” about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.

On Tuesday, a top Clinton aide said she had no problem with Uber, but rather questions about what such business models mean for workers. [ID:nL2N0ZU17L]

The wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Liu’s family last year did not specify an amount of damages sought.

The case in San Francisco Superior Court is Ang Liang Liu et al. vs. Uber Technologies et al., 14-536979.

Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Christian Plumb and Cynthia Osterman