Lyft has successfully kept their training and vetting out of the public and now they will be forced into sharing how they vet and train their drivers. This type information coming to light is the result of a tragedy that occurred recently in south Florida. A Lyft driver, who at the time was transporting two passengers, allegedly failed to yield the right of way at a four-way stop sign and turned left striking a 29-year-old year old male who is married and who’s wife is expecting a baby very soon. The male was driving his motorcycle and the impact threw him from it and he died soon after from his injuries. The deceased’s wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit at the end of October in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
The attorneys for the Plaintiff argue the San Francisco-based company has an unsafe business model that promotes people taking up driving as a side job. They assert the drivers are not chauffers and they work way too many hours if you count up all the jobs they have. It’s not safe the way they do it. The lawsuit accuses Lyft of hiring untrained drivers who are constantly distracted and fatigued on the road. As I’ve blogged about in the past and it is a source of contention in many counties here in Florida, Lyft and Uber vehicles and drivers don’t have the permits that taxi and limousine companies do which is a safety issue.
San Francisco-based Lyft allows passengers to use a smartphone app to hail rides from drivers in their personal cars. Ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc. have come under fire for insufficient safety checks on their drivers, who are considered independent contractors.
The ride-hailing companies, which were excluded from the program since their drivers are classified as independent contractors, had been conducting manual reviews of driving records on a quarterly basis.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Lyft was negligent in its training and background checks for the Lyft driver at-fault.
The Plaintiff’s lawyers expects Lyft to raise the argument that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Both Lyft and Uber are involved in litigation over the employment status of their drivers.
Florida law considers the amount of control a company could exert over a worker to be the most important test of employment, and the instructions drivers receive from the Lyft app are enough to pass that test.