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Tempe, AZ Faces Lawsuit After Uber Self-Driving Crash

Published on Feb 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm in Uber Accidents.

Nearly a year ago in March 2018, a woman in Tempe, AZ was killed in a crash involving a self-driving Uber vehicle. The woman’s family has recently filed a $10 million claim against the City of Tempe.

When Elaine Herzberg was hit and killed by the self-driving car, which was a Volvo sport-utility vehicle, she was walking outside of a crosswalk on Mill Avenue. Her husband and daughter, who are being represented by Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, are claiming the city created a dangerous situation by paving the median where pedestrians were not supposed to walk. The lawsuit is seeking $5 million in compensation for each of the surviving family members.

The claim is being made that the city was negligent when it set up the median where the accident occurred, which contained an X-shaped brick pathway. The pathway cut through the desert landscape in a way that suggested the design allowed pedestrians to cross the road. After the accident, however, the city redesigned this portion of the road and removed the pathway. Now, there are various types of landscaping that seem to discourage jaywalking. The brick pathway has been replaced with rocks.

As mentioned, the current lawsuit is involving the City of Tempe. Previously, the family reached a fast settlement with Uber the same month the accident occurred. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed; however, it was determined that the car’s lidar and radar sensors should have spotted Herzberg in time to stop.

It is known that Uber’s self-driving cars had issues with detecting objects and people prior to this accident occurring. In many situations, the human safety drivers had to intervene during tests to ensure a collision did not take place. At the time of Herzberg’s accident, however, the human safety driver was watching a television program via a streaming service.

The city has yet to comment on the pending litigation and the family’s lawyers have not released any additional statements.

While any car accident is likely to be traumatic, one involving an Uber vehicle can be that much more complicated when it comes to seeking compensation for the sustained damages. If you’ve been wrongfully injured in a crash, the Rideshare Law Group has lawyers all over the country who are willing to take on cases involving rideshare companies. To learn more about the legal rights and options of accident victims, get in touch with us.