Driver sues Uber after passenger shoots him, says he felt pressured to cancel ride despite sense of danger – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) – An Uber driver in Chicago said he felt a lot of pain while driving – only to discover he had been shot in the back by one of his own passengers.

As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported Tuesday, Uber driver Adebayo Adeyemo — Bayo for short — drove himself to the emergency room at Cook County Stroger Hospital. He’s still recovering there, and he’s also calling on Uber to make the changes.

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Adeyemo said he has a bad feeling about his passengers based on their conversation leading up to the shooting – but feels pressured to continue the trip as drivers are encouraged to keep cancellation rates low .

“I was scared in public,” he said. “I was scared to go back to work.”

Adeyemo said that according to Uber’s policy, he only had a passenger’s first name – “Luis” – when he picked him up on October 20. The man was acting strangely – and made the comment. about Adeyemo’s race, “explains how the Mexicans did not look like the blacks,” according to the Illinois State Police report.

The highway cameras on Dan Ryan captured Adeyemo’s black Volvo on the road.

Soon after, Adeyemo said: “I heard a loud bang and I felt a sharp pain in my back. The passenger then told me I was shot.”

Terrified, Adeyemo drove himself to Stroger Hospital, and “Luis” jumped out and ran away.

Adeyemo was shot back. He suffered a ruptured spleen and broken ribs.

The next day, investigators were able to get more information from Uber – and the driver was taken into custody two days after the shooting.

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“Now, do we know that this is racially motivated? No, we don’t,” said Adeyemo attorney Bryant Greening with Legal Rideshare LLC. “But that comment made Bayo uncomfortable, and Bayo should have had the option of canceling the trip at that point.”

Greening recently filed a lawsuit against Uber – controversy company can and should do more to keep drivers safe – even while riding.

“Uber drivers are expected to keep their cancellation rates low, and if they cancel too many trips, you know they could lose access to the platform,” Greening said. “They need to have more discretion over the times when it is unacceptable to ride – or cancel a ride – during the ride. If they feel uncomfortable, they can leave the situation.”

We wanted to know – how often do motorists get assaulted like this? Uber released a safety report in 2019 detailing deaths and sexual assaults.

But the company did not include information about cases like Adeyemo, where the driver was assaulted but not killed.

Ultimately, the driver in this case was charged in the shooting. But Adeyemo hopes his experience will change.

“I’m scared for myself and all my fellow drivers,” he said. “We really need the help of our motivators to make this a safe experience for everyone.”

The lawsuit asks for $50,000 to help pay for Adeyemo’s medical expenses. Uber declined to comment on this story, citing pending litigation.

The company has said that the majority of rides on the Uber platform are problem-free.

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We also asked Uber late Tuesday whether it offers any form of assistance to drivers who have been seriously injured on the job. Uber responded with this statement:

“Optional Injury Protection coverage is designed to give those who drive or deliver with Uber peace of mind in the event of the unexpected. We believe motorists deserve a chance to be protected if they are involved in an accident and are unable to drive or deliver — and therefore cannot make money — or have to pay for medical expenses.”


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