Dear Uber, Please Preserve Evidence.

VIA TWITTER to @Uber

RE:

Uber Driver:                Jazmine Offord
Our Client:                  [REDACTED]
Date of Injury:            April 15, 2018

Dear Uber,

On the morning of Sunday, April 15, 2018, Ms. Elizabeth St. Germain (“Beth”) was riding in an Uber with her daughter when the Uber driver crashed into a car ahead of her.  They were on the interstate in Atlanta, Georgia at the time.  Beth was badly hurt.  She has been in the ICU at Grady Memorial Hospital for four days (and counting) with serious spinal injuries.  Doctors have already performed one surgery on her neck.  Things do not look good—we don’t know what Beth’s long-term prognosis is, but it is unlikely that she will ever have full use of her hands again.

Our law firm represents Beth.  We’re writing this letter to ask you to preserve all evidence that relates to the collision or the trip that was underway when it occurred.  This request includes any information or data that Uber has, in addition to any information or data in the possession of a related entity (such as the Uber driver, a subsidiary corporation, Raiser LLC, or an affiliated company that keeps such records).  If it is necessary for you to forward this letter to another person or entity to ensure that all evidence is preserved, please do so.

This evidence includes, but is not limited to:

  • Electronic or GPS-related data about the collision or trip;
  • Emails, messages, or other communications with the Uber driver or any other party that relate to the collision or trip;
  • Information transmitted to, or recorded by, the Uber driver’s phone or Uber’s system for dispatching and tracking vehicles;
  • “Black box” data, electronic data recorder (“EDR”), or similar information stored by the Uber driver’s vehicle, phone, or other device;
  • Photographs, video recordings, or audio recordings that relate to the collision or trip;
  • Information about the driver and her wireless communication carrier (e.g., Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.);
  • Training materials or instructions for Uber drivers (including this Uber driver) about what to do in the event of a collision; and
  • Uber’s “file”—i.e., the information it has maintained—regarding the Uber driver who was driving Ms. St. Germain.

I suspect that, even without this letter, Uber would preserve all relevant evidence in order to protect its customers and its driver.  However, please do note that failing to preserve this evidence could lead to severe adverse legal consequences for Uber.  See AMLI Residential Props., Inc. v. Georgia Power Co., 293 Ga. App. 358, 363 (2008).

If you have any questions concerning the trip details, customer details, or the scope of the evidence this letter requests to be preserved, please do not hesitate to call me at (404) 587-8423 or email me at jeb@butlertobin.com.  Because our law firm represents Beth, please direct all correspondence or communication to us.

 

Thank you,

Jeb Butler

 

P.S.  Here is a link to the signed letter in Adobe Acrobat format.

 

UPDATE:  Uber, thank you for responding to our tweet.  We’ve posted a screenshot of our public conversation below.  For privacy reasons, we won’t post the screenshots of our direct messages (DMs) here, but we do have them saved.

You are now ‘on notice.’  It’s up to you to do the right thing and save the evidence.  We sure hope that you will.  If you don’t, as you know, there will be legal consequences.