The family of a 23-year-old man who was killed after a Lyft driver ejected him on the shoulder of a California freeway is suing Lyft.
Amy and John Lavelle of Virginia Beach filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles County's Superior say Lyft and its driver were negligent son and "breached their duty of reasonable care."
Their son, Justin Lavelle had been living in L.A. for nearly three years. Court documents state that on January 30, 2018, Lavelle went out to eat at a restaurant and then to a bar in West Hollywood for a drink with friends. At around 11:30 p.m., Lavelle's friend hailed him a Lyft car to take him to the friend's home in Long Beach.
Lyft driver Tariq Rasheed picked up Lavelle, around midnight Lavelle and the driver started arguing and Rasheed pulled over his car on Interstate 110.
Court documents say Rasheed then pepper-sprayed Lavelle, then evicted him on the shoulder of the freeway and did not call 911. Lavelle was shortly thereafter struck by at a hit-and-run driver and died hours later at the hospital on Jan. 31.
Rasheed "failed to take affirmative actions to prevent harm to his passenger, and indeed, took affirmative actions to cause harm to that passenger," the complaint states.
Lyft deactived Rasheed's driver account. He had not been charged with any wrongdoing as of Wednesday, though a California Highway Patrol official said the agency planned to file charges.
Rasheed has said he removed Lavelle out of self-defense when he old tried to grab hold of the steering wheel.
The Lavelle’s lawsuit argues that Lyft's screening process for new drivers is inadequate because it does not require fingerprinting and its background checks extend back only seven years.
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