Recently, we have heard a great deal about the dangers that unsafe drivers driving for services like Uber and Lyft represent. While the threat posed by drivers who never should have been authorized by their rideshare services remains very real, the problem is bigger than just rideshare drivers. In addition to those drivers, there is also a similar danger posed by certain food delivery drivers (driving for services like Uber Eats, Door Dash and Grubhub,) as an incident from right here in Chicago illustrates. If you’ve been hurt by a food delivery driver who shouldn’t have been driving for that service, you may be able to bring a legal action and recover much-needed compensation. Reach out to a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney to find out more.
In this Chicago case, the platform being brought to court was Grubhub. The victim was a Lake View East restaurant worker who was run over and drug for several feet by a man who was driving for Grubhub. The injured woman suffered several broken bones, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Those included a broken pelvis, two broken arms and fractures in both legs. She also suffered nerve damage to both arms and required surgery on both of them, according to her attorneys.
In her lawsuit against Grubhub, she asserted that it contributed to the very serious accident through its negligence. Grubhub’s app allegedly allowed the driver, who was not licensed to drive and (according to Grubhub) was not one of its authorized drivers, to access the platform through the account of another individual who was an authorized driver.
Grubhub, she contended, was negligent either by permitting the man to drive for its service or by having an app with such unreasonably insufficient security that it allowed unauthorized users to access authorized drivers’ accounts.
Negligence in these scenarios can take many different forms
This woman’s case is far from unique. In some cases, the driver was approved by the platform, but never should have been. Drivers with “red flags” like past convictions for violent felonies or impaired driving have allegedly been given the “green light” to drive because a platform’s vetting process for new drivers was not reasonably adequate to filter out applicants who posed clear risks. When this happens, it is a potential instance of a lawsuit claim for negligent hiring.
Other times, the platform errs by keeping a driver. Perhaps a driver had a clean record when the platform authorized him, but the platform, over time, received numerous complaints of inappropriate physical contact with customers. If the platform fails to de-authorize that kind of driver, even after receiving the complaints, and that driver later sexually assaults a customer, then the platform may potentially have liability for something called “negligent retention.”
Even when, as ostensibly was the case here, the driver was not authorized by the platform, the platform can still potentially be liable. An authorized driver has access to a great deal of your personal information, which may include your name, address, cell phone number and email. If a platform isn’t taking reasonable steps to properly safeguard its authorized drivers’ accounts, the possibility exists for someone who has never been vetted and who may not even have a driver’s license to operate under the guise of being a food delivery driver and cause harm. As this woman’s case asserts, this too may potentially create negligence liability for the platform.
If you have been injured by someone who was driving for Lyft, Uber, Uber Eats, Door Dash or Grubhub but never should have been, then that company may be liable to you. To learn more about your legal options and what approach makes the most sense for you, reach out to the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to provide with the clear advice and strong advocacy you deserve. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.