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Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Pedestrian Struck By Uber Driver In Downtown Seattle

Posted on Aug 31, 2020

Davis Law Group, P.S. has filed a civil lawsuit against Uber and its driver on behalf of a female pedestrian who was severely injured while crossing Fourth Avenue at the Columbia Street intersection in Seattle, WA. The woman, N.J., was crossing inside a marked cross walk when the pedestrian signal was green in the woman’s favor.   

On December 4, 2019, at approximately 6:00 PM, a 60 year-old woman, N.J., of Seattle was walking east on Columbia Street and waiting to cross Fourth Avenue. The pedestrian light turned green. N.J. entered the marked cross walk and started crossing the street.  At the same time, an Uber vehicle was heading west on Columbia. The Uber driver was transporting a passenger.

As the Uber driver approached the intersection, he made a right turn on a solid green light. The Uber driver failed to yield to N.J. while she was in the marked cross walk (N.J. was hit in the area depicted by the Red Arrow).  

seattle crosswalk accident lawsuit

N.J. sustained multiple serious injuries, including:

  • a moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI),
  • a Grade 3 liver laceration,
  • left holohemispheric subdural hematoma,
  • traumatic intracranial and subarachnoid hemorrhages,
  • cerebral contusions,
  • multiple skin tears and lacerations requiring suturing, irrigation and debridement to right upper and lower extremities,
  • scalp laceration,
  • right upper extremity degloving injury,
  • right tibia/fibula fracture with exposed bone,
  • right hemiparesis, sensory loss, impaired cognition, decreased endurance, impaired balance,
  • pain and dysphonia, among other injuries.

Uber’s driver has denied any and all responsibility for causing the collision, despite N.J. having the Right-of-Way.  Uber has denied fault for its driver, arguing that the driver was an Independent Contractor and therefore it has no responsibility for its drivers.

Washington State’s law on pedestrian crossings states:

“A pedestrian within a crosswalk has the right to assume that all drivers of approaching vehicles will yield the right of way to the pedestrian. This right continues until the pedestrian knows otherwise or until surrounding circumstances should have alerted the pedestrian to the fact that an approaching vehicle is not going to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. Absent such circumstances, a pedestrian within a crosswalk has no duty to look for approaching vehicles.” See Washington Civil Pattern Instruction No. 70.03.

The parties engaged in settlement discussions.  Those discussions broke down after Uber demanded that N.J. sign a settlement agreement that contained a $250,000 Liquidated Damages Clause if she ever disclosed the settlement to any other person.  A Liquidated Damages Clause gives Uber the right to sue N.J. if it thinks she disclosed any portion of the settlement agreement, or its terms, or the amount, to another person.  Davis Law Group strongly recommended to N.J. that she NEVER agree to a Liquidated Damages Clause, since it could cause N.J. substantial problems later on if Uber decided that she violated the clause (whether that belief was warranted or not).

Uber Technologies, Inc. is the parent company of Rasier, LLC.  The lawsuit alleges that the Uber driver was working for both companies at the time of the collision. Both companies have denied fault for the incident, arguing that the driver was solely to blame.

“Anyone who may have been a witness to this serious collision, including its aftermath, is asked to contact Davis Law Group at 206.727.4000.”

N.J. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., Rasier, LLC, et al.
DLG Case Number: 202269
Court Case Number: 20-2-13124-5​
Lawsuit Filed: 08/28/2020​
Case Title: N.J. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al.
Court: King County Superior Court​
Plaintiff: N.J.

Chris Davis
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Chris Davis is the founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.