January 16, 2018
An Uber ride to the Philadelphia International Airport went awry for one Montgomery County woman who has now filed a lawsuit against the ride-share tech giant.
According to her lawsuit, Carla Guzman was left stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike by a seemingly impaired Uber driver on the way to the Philadelphia airport. Though Guzman said she reported the incident to Uber several times, she has moved on to legal action, claiming the company did not take her complaints seriously.
The alleged incident began around 4:30 a.m. on June 21 when Guzman’s driver, known only as “Rachel,” picked Guzman up for her ride to the airport. In legal documents, Guzman claims Rachel’s speech was slurred and that she showed strange driving behavior, such as driving too slowly and switching between lanes excessively.
When Guzman asked Rachel to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the lawsuit alleges, Rachel became agitated and raised her voice, saying she would be fined on the turnpike because she doesn’t have E-ZPass and that the car could be stopped and searched by police.
Guzman offered to pay the toll fees and fines. At the Fort Washington exit, Rachel didn’t have a toll ticket, so Guzman paid the $41.05 fine with her debit card. Shortly after pulling away from the toll booth, Rachel allegedly told Guzman to get out of the car and that she would force her to do so if necessary. At 4:47 a.m., Guzman was left stranded on the side of the road.
Guzman then walked on the turnpike for about a quarter of a mile, with her luggage, before scaling a fence to get to a nearby Best Western hotel, where she was able to call for a taxi to take her to the airport. She missed her flight.
When Guzman contacted Uber about the incident, they gave her a $41 ride credit – not a reimbursement.
Rachel has since been banned from Uber, Philadelphia Magazine reports, but Guzman’s lawsuit highlights Uber’s lack of safety guidelines, even after Uber paid $28.5 million in a class-action lawsuit for its misleading safety assurances.
Matthew Luber, Guzman’s attorney, told NBC10 that his client's case reflects an ongoing issue with ride-share safety and transparency.
“Time and time again, incident after incident, lawsuit after lawsuit, we are seeing sexual assaults, drivers being impaired or intoxicated, and we have yet to see any meaningful change from the company,” Luber told NBC10.