Updated on: 3/27/2023
A King County jury will soon determine whether rideshare operator Lyft is legally responsible for a fatal rollover collision that occurred on International Boulevard near SeaTac International Airport in 2019.
Gladys Fascitelli was driving her 2001 BMW sedan on International Blvd when a Lyft driver, Hassen Tubie, attempted to merge into her lane. She immediately took evasive action, lost control of the vehicle and crossed over a center median before crashing into a Marriott shuttle bus that was reportedly carrying 14 passengers and one driver at the time.
A 45-year-old man was partially ejected from the shuttle bus and was pronounced dead at the scene. At least seven passengers were injured in the collision, including Davis Law Group client, Carmen Jordan.
Investigation Into Fatal Rollover Crash
Davis Law Group’s investigation team obtained video footage of the collision from a nearby traffic camera. The video clearly showed that Hassan Tubie, who was working for Lyft and transporting a passenger at the time of the collision, suddenly made an illegal lane-change which caused Fascitelli to attempt a dangerous maneuver to avoid colliding with Tubie’s vehicle.
Tubie’s illegal lane-change caused Fascitelli to cross over the median before entering the oncoming lane of travel and striking the Marriott shuttle bus.
The shuttle bus did not have on-board cameras facing the view of oncoming traffic, which could have been helpful in demonstrating how quickly the collision occurred and the little reaction time that the driver of the shuttle bus would have had to be able to avoid a collision.
Davis Law Group hired an accident reconstruction expert to produce illustration of what the bus driver likely would have seen in the split seconds leading up to the collision:
Further Investigation into Driver’s History
Davis Law Group filed a lawsuit in relation to this collision in October 2020. Our investigation found that Hassan Tubie had never operated as a driver before he immigrated to the United States shortly before this collision occurred.
There was also a demonstrated history of poor performance, as our investigation discovered numerous customer complaints for his unsafe driving. Commercial vehicle carriers such as trucking companies can be held vicariously liable for a plaintiff’s damages in cases where the company knew or should have reasonably known that their driver was poorly trained or had demonstrated unsafe performance. Davis Law Group argues that Lyft and other rideshare companies should be held to that same standard.
Are Lyft Drivers Employees?
A new law was passed in 2023 mandating that all rideshare drivers in Washington are entitled to a minimum wage of $1.17 per mile and $0.34 per minute, including a minimum pay of $3.00 per trip. Rideshare companies are also required to provide workers with benefits like paid sick leave and workers’ compensation insurance.
“The big issue here is Lyft’s responsibility for its drivers, especially those drivers that have a very poor driving and customer service record like we are seeing in this case,” says Chris Davis, lead attorney for Carmen Jordan. “Lyft has denied any responsibility for what its driver Mr. Tubie did to cause this fatality collision. Lyft argues that its drivers are independent contractors, rather than employees, and therefore the corporation has no legal responsibility when one of its drivers causes a major injury and death collision.”
But Davis argues that Lyft has the same level of responsibility as other corporations to ensure that its drivers do not pose a threat to public safety.
“We maintain that Lyft negligently hired Hassan Tubie, negligently failed to train the driver, and negligently retained Tubie as a driver after it knew or should have known that Tubie was too dangerous to be a Lyft driver and endanger the public,” Davis says.
Jury Selection Set To Begin March 28th
Jury selection for this lawsuit against Lyft is set to begin as early as Tuesday, March 28th in King County Superior Court. Davis Law Group welcomes the opportunity to fight for justice for our client and hold Lyft accountable for the harms she has suffered.
On Friday, March 24th, Lyft stipulated to vicarious liability. You can read the full stipulation below:
Media inquiries should be directed to Davis Law Group’s Public Relations team. Contact Dee Dee Landon at [email protected] or by calling (206) 338-2395.