A Dallas woman is now a quadriplegic after a rollover crash and is suing Uber for undetermined damages.
The lawsuit says Uber was negligent in hiring a driver with a criminal history and for not knowing he was driving someone else's uninsured vehicle.
After hundreds of hours of physical therapy, Sarah Milburn is starting to see progress. She was on the verge of graduating from Oklahoma State before the accident that paralyzed her from the neck down.
“We thought it's not safe to walk so we should get an Uber because that will be safe,” she said.
On November 14, 2015, the then-23-year-old got into an Uber vehicle ordered by a friend during a night out in Uptown Dallas. She strapped herself into the third-row seat of the Honda Odyssey, and they went at the intersection of McKinney Avenue and Fitzhugh.
“Our Uber driver kind of ran the red light, and we got hit,” Milburn said. “I had my seatbelt on so I was flipped upside down. And I remember just hanging there, and I remember my friends all screaming.”
Milburn's attorney, Charla Androus, says they've since learned the driver, 39-year-old Arian Yusufzai, had a criminal history that included running a gambling den and drug charges. And she says the Honda Odyssey he was driving was uninsured and owned by someone else, 53-year-old Dawood Kohistanti, who'd been arrested with Yusufzai in the past and faced similar charges.
“They should not allow them to drive under Uber’s name because passengers who get in those cars assume they're safe, and they're not,” Androus said.
The lawsuit also named both men as defendants as well as Honda Motor Company, claiming Milburn was not safely restrained.
“She can't get out of bed on her own, can't go to the bathroom on her own,” said Milburn’s father, John. “The issues that she has to deal with are all things we all take for granted.”
Despite that, Milburn is adapting the best she can. While walking is only possible with state of the art equipment at the Neurologic Recovery Center in Fort Worth, the one thing she has no problem exercising is her voice.
“Millions of people trust Uber with their lives every day, and they have no idea who they are getting in the car with,” Milburn warned.
So far, Honda and the men named in the lawsuit have not responded to a request for comment. An Uber spokesperson says it does not comment on pending litigation.