Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Uber Self-Driving Death Lawsuit Filed Against City

The family of the victim of the country's first autonomous vehicle pedestrian fatality has filed a lawsuit against the City of Tempe, Arizona, where the accident occurred.

The case against Uber already settled. But now, the family is seeking $10 million in damages from the city because the road median where the victim entered the street from was paved in such a way to suggest people could use it to cross safely, when it was solely decorative, and definitely not safe. In fact, shortly after the incident, the median was re-landscaped to do away with the jaywalking-suggestive design.

X Factor

The road median in question basically had two brick paved paths that crossed in an X between two separate directions of travel on a roadway. However, at neither entry point from the road to the X path, were there any crosswalks. The city explained that the area is not intended to be used like that and even had signs telling people to use crosswalks. In short, the case against the city alleges it was negligent in maintain a crosswalk at the site where the accident happened.

Sadly, while the accident is easily blamed on the self-driving technology's failure, the driver reportedly was watching "The Voice" while the car was in autonomous mode, rather than actively monitoring the road and vehicle.

According to USA Today's reporting, the lawsuit against Tempe isn't very strong. However, the plaintiffs insist that the city permitted the testing in addition to failing to maintain the crosswalk, and as such, do hold some liability.

Related Resources: