• UberPeople.NET - Independent community of rideshare drivers. It's FREE to be a person and enjoy all the benefits of membership. JOIN US! CLICK HERE

Lawsuit claims Lyft driver in fatal wreck was distracted by app

BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member
http://www.mystatesman.com/news/crime--law/lawsuit-claims-lyft-driver-fatal-wreck-was-distracted-app/vATwbLZjiPR2ZDRLpE3EBJ/

One of the women who died was set to be married the following month.


A family that already has settled with Uber in a wrongful death lawsuit is now targeting its rideshare rival Lyft, claiming the company’s phone app caused one of its drivers to take his eyes off the road before a wreck that killed a woman and her daughter two years ago in Williamson County.

An attorney representing the family of decedents Irene and Kate Edwards said the driver, Kevin Eldredge, was working for Uber on Oct. 10, 2015, when he picked up the family to take them to an engagement party. Eldredge, who also was approved to drive for Lyft, tried to set up an appointment with a Lyft customer, according to the lawsuit, when his Nissan Altima made a left turn and collided with a Chrysler minivan on Palm Valley Boulevard in Round Rock.

Neither driver was cited, according to the accident report.

Lyft has since modified its app to prevent drivers from pulling up another ride share application while driving for Lyft. Had those safeguards been in place at the time, said the family’s attorney, Jason McMinn, “there would have never been a collision and these people would be alive today.”

Family members settled with Uber for a “substantial” amount, said McMinn, adding they also settled with the minivan driver, Jason Lemmond. They are seeking $1 million or more from Lyft.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Travis County district court, reads: “Plaintiffs would show that Lyft was aware of this foreseeable risk of harm and persisted in designing these defective cellular applications in light of this know (sic) risk.”

Lyft released a statement saying, “we are deeply saddened to hear about this tragic incident and our thoughts are with those involved.”

Two surviving victims were hospitalized, McMinn said: Rick Edwards, the husband of Irene Edwards and the father of Kate Edwards, and David Foy, the fiancé of Kate Edwards. They were to be married the next month.

In May, Lyft and Uber ceased operations in Austin after voters upheld a rule that would require the companies to vet prospective drivers with fingerprint background checks.
 

phillipzx3

Well-Known Member
So how does Lyft know the driver doesn't have two phones running? I see drivers all day long with two phones suction cupped to their windshield.

If there's will, drivers will find a way.

I wonder how long it will take for Uber (James River) to sue the driver to recover the money they paid out. It's in the drivers TOS. But most haven't read it. Uber is insured, but the driver isn't.
 

Jagent

Well-Known Member
Moderator
With all of the concern about texting and driving, it's amazing that this didn't happen sooner. Stacked pings are a lawsuit in the making for sure. Plus, pax calling and texting drivers who are on the way. ..
 

backstreets-trans

Well-Known Member
With all of the concern about texting and driving, it's amazing that this didn't happen sooner. Stacked pings are a lawsuit in the making for sure. Plus, pax calling and texting drivers who are on the way. ..
The article says that lyft has no record of this guy even driving for them. Uber might have been sending him stacked pings/trips. I wonder if that would make a difference in the uber settlement.
 

Jagent

Well-Known Member
Moderator
The article says that lyft has no record of this guy even driving for them. Uber might have been sending him stacked pings/trips. I wonder if that would make a difference in the uber settlement.
If he was messing with his phone during the ride, it's almost guaranteed to be a stacked ping.
 

Sgt_PaxHauler

Well-Known Member
I don't think Lyft is at fault here. This one's entirely on the driver. App-juggling is pretty common here in the ATX metro area (which includes Round Rock and Williamson County), but there's safe and unsafe ways to run multiple apps. He shouldn't have had both his apps online while on a trip with pax in his car in the first place. He shouldn't have answered a Lyft ping (or more likely an Uber stacked ping near his dropoff point) while the vehicle was in motion.. especially if he was making a left turn on Palm Valley, which is actually a *highway* where drivers are usually going at least 55mph, if not 70+ going to or from Hutto & Taylor.

While the lawyers are simply trying to mine as many deep pockets as possible for their client, the primary person to blame here is the one with the shallowest pockets: the driver. Letting pings expire would've saved lives here.

One alternative that has both ups and downs would be to have TNC apps set to only send pings through to drivers whose vehicles are not in motion. This would make it safer for drivers and passengers already in a TNC driver's car, but would introduce delays in getting rides picked up by drivers.
 
Top