The Uber ride-sharing company has been getting a bad rap lately. What happened earlier this year in Florida won’t help.
Uber may get sued after one of their drivers allegedly drove a 12-year-old girl to a spot where she, tragically, died from suicide, according to WKMG.
A lawyer for Benita Diamond’s family says the girl used her mom’s smartphone to download the Uber app and order a driver to pick her up. The Uber driver then took the 12-year-old to a parking garage in downtown Orlando.
Police found the girl’s body the next morning after she had apparently jumped off the garage structure. They also found a suicide note.
Benita wrote about her experience using the Uber right before her death, saying, "I was surprised at how easily I got into the Uber. I guess I was expecting more of a hassle."
The driver allegedly never asked Benita her age, never asked her why she wanted to go somewhere alone in the middle of the night, and never asked her why she wanted to be dropped off at a downtown parking garage in the dark. The Jan. 20 ride lasted for 20 miles, WFLA reported.
Apparently, the driver was able to partner with Uber despite a severe language barrier.
"I learned that the Uber driver did not speak a word of English. Not one word at all,” her mom Lisha Chen revealed, according to FOX 35 Orlando.
According to Uber, giving an unaccompanied minor a ride is against their policy.
“A rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older on any ride,” the Uber website states.
“As a driver-partner, you should decline the ride request if you believe the person requesting the ride is under 18. When picking up riders, if you feel they are underage, you may request they provide a driver's license or ID card for confirmation. If a rider is underage, please do not start the trip or allow them to ride,” the company added.
Benita’s dad Ron Diamond said that "we had no clue that my daughter had ordered an Uber. We had no clue that she got into an Uber and drove to downtown. And we had a right to know where our daughter went.”
“I think, without a doubt, that if Uber followed their policy, our daughter would still be here."
"If she'd been asked, where's your mom and dad? We believe she would've been here," added the family’s lawyer Laura Douglas.
Benita’s parents are considering suing Uber to get them to enforce their own policy. The company said it is investigating the incident and added that six months passed before they were even notified about it.