Start Transcript Uber Riders: Who is your co-passenger?
Another thing to consider is not just who is the Uber driver that’s coming to pick you up, but who might your co-passengers be?
The first time I ever used Uber, I didn’t really understand how to use the service, and so, I accidentally selected to share the ride with somebody. I probably wouldn’t have done that, had I understood what I was doing. I just intended to ride by myself from this deposition in Los Angeles, back to the LAX airport, but I had clicked the wrong button. As it turned out, I was going to get to share the ride with somebody else, some random person. As it turns out, the person I got to share the ride with turns out to be this French movie maker, who’s some big-time celebrity in France, and we picked him up at some fancy restaurant in West Hollywood, and he gets in, and, “Wow. This is kind of cool. This is who I get to share my Uber ride with.”
That was my first Uber experience, so I was fairly charmed by Uber with that. Had a great conversation with this guy, but, really could’ve been a lot worse, couldn’t it? Suppose that the person who gets into the vehicle with me, to share the ride to Los Angeles International Airport is a drug mule. Suppose that they’re a violent person. Suppose that they smell terrible. Suppose that they’re sick. Suppose that they’re coughing and sneezing all over the vehicle. The question arises, if that had happened, if your co-passenger, in the Uber vehicle pose some sort of danger to you, and in fact, did harm you in some way, would you have a claim against Uber? Would you have a claim against anyone? I don’t know the answer to that question.
The answer to that question, like most legal questions is it depends. We’d have to know a lot more about the specific facts of that situation. What did Uber know? What should Uber have known about this co-passenger? Had Uber had prior complaints about this co-passenger? That they were violent? That they were law breakers? That they were doing things that would put the Uber driver, or co-passengers at harm? If so, then, I think a strong argument could be made that Uber has a duty to protect its customers from know dangers like that. I’m not going through all of these issues, and discussing these issues for the purpose of throwing Uber under the limo. I happen to be a big fan of Uber. I use the services frequently, and I recommend it to other people, but there are a host of legal issues. Some of which, we’ve discussed here, that are brand new. They haven’t been sorted through yet. You may encounter these legal issues, if you are injured while you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to give me a call.