On March 12, 2019, a 16-year-old minor ordered an Uber in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina to take him to Truist Stadium in Georgia. The mother, Gina Wintz, who thought her son had been kidnapped, has filed a lawsuit against the rideshare company and the driver for negligence.
The boy ordered an Uber because he wanted to “run the bases” at the Atlanta Braves baseball stadium after school. The Uber driver picked the student up from his school, Oceanside Academy, around noon and drove more than 300 miles to the requested destination.
According to Wintz, her son “suffers from mental and emotional setbacks” as a result of a traumatic brain injury. She expected her son to be home from school before 3:00 p.m. When he did not arrive, she believed he had been kidnapped and called the authorities. Georgia police located the boy around 8:30 p.m. After the trip, Wintz said her son was charged in Family Court. Because of his age, however, it’s unclear as to what charges were filed.
According to the complaint, “When the minor did not arrive home, and turned up missing, plaintiff Gina Wintz suffered severe emotional distress as she dreaded her son has been potentially kidnapped.” The lawsuit cites Uber’s policy requiring underage riders to be accompanied by an adult 18 or older, and claims the company failed to properly train its drivers and the driver failed to follow the company’s policy on underage riders.
At this time, it’s unclear as to whether or not Wintz’s son hailed the Uber himself or if the driver confirmed his age. Because of the pending litigation, Uber has yet to comment on this specific incident. In regard to underage riders, however, Uber released a statement on December 12, 2019: “If they are under 18, please decline the trip and report it to Uber. Note that refusing or canceling trips on this basis will not impact your driver rating or account status.”
When Uber drivers are negligent, passengers have the right to take legal action to hold them accountable. Depending on the situation, the litigation process can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced lawyer from the Rideshare Law Group. We help victims seek compensation for their losses and get their lives back in order. Learn more about our services and how we can help you by contacting us today.