Carla Guzman is a 38-year-old mother of two from Abington, who works as a product manager in the food packaging and processing industry. Guzman scheduled a ride to the airport using Uber, the giant company who uses a ridesharing app to provide transportation in over 600 cities internationally. She ended up being stranded off of the Pennsylvania Turnpike by the driver, who she described as likely intoxicated and demonstrated “deranged” behavior.
Guzman filed a civil suit in a Philadelphia County Court against the company and the driver “Rachel”. Upon arrival for her trip to the Philadelphia International Airport, Guzman noticed the driver appeared “disheveled” and the car had a strong lingering odor of cigarettes. Rachel chose to take a longer route to the airport, which Guzman assumed to be in efforts to avoid paying tolls.
During the ride, Rachel was allegedly driving very slowly and continued to erratically change lanes. Guzman suggested they take the turnpike, which Rachel did, yet she complained of not having an E-Z Pass to pay tolls, although these tolls are automatically charged to the passenger. Guzman attempted to pacify Rachel by saying she would pay any additional costs associated with tolls–and later paid her $41. Apparently, Rachel’s anger continued to heighten and she cursed at Guzman before finally pulling over to drop her and the luggage off on an exit ramp.
Guzman walked roughly a quarter mile when she saw a hotel located just beyond a tall fence. She tossed her luggage over the fence and then climbed over in order to reach the hotel. She then took a taxi to the airport; however, it was too late to catch her flight and apparently she had a mental breakdown. She claimed that Uber initially had ignored her report. They did later provide her the $41 back as a special “one-time” courtesy measure.
Guzman also filed a report with the Public Utility Commission. In the meanwhile, she was made aware that Rachel had later been suspended from driving for Uber. Her civil claim accuses the company of negligence in their hiring and supervision, as well as consumer and trade protection violations. She seeks damages for emotional distress, fees, & expenses—requesting a jury trial. Uber was said to have declined to comment on the pending matter.
In 2016, Uber, which is based in San Francisco, settled a class action suit for $28.5 million for similar types of violations. The attorney representing her says that this does not appear to just be a case involving one driver. He explains that the company seems to have shown a pattern of “woefully inadequate driver screening and monitoring”. The company website touts their efforts toward safety by offering door-to-door service from a driver who is regularly rated and receives feedback. They say their 24/7 support is always available and use trained incident response teams if problems arise.
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