Sep 23, 2022
DoorDash Fails in Bid to Toss Lawsuit Over Speeding Driver
(Bloomberg) -- DoorDash Inc. failed to persuade a judge to dismiss a lawsuit over the death of a Wisconsin man who was killed last year by a speeding delivery driver working for the company.
In a tentative ruling Friday, Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer rejected the San Francisco-based company’s request to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit, which Doordash said shouldn’t have been brought in California.
The suit was filed by the family of Ashley Taylor, 37, who died in April 2021 after he was struck by an SUV going 75 miles per hour in a 40-mph zone. The DoorDash driver behind the wheel was later charged with reckless homicide. DoorDash operates an app-based meal delivery business that, as its name suggests, counts on its “dasher” delivery people to be “speedy,” the judge noted.
“The loss of Mr. Taylor is a tragedy but it does not change the fact there is no evidence DoorDash was the cause of the accident and there is plenty of evidence other factors were,” the company said in an emailed statement. “This tentative ruling is not about the merits of the case; it is only about where the appropriate venue is. Even though we feel deeply for the family, we are compelled to vigorously defend ourselves in court.”
Taylor’s family sued the company in San Francisco, accusing it of “flooding the street” with drivers and distracting them with text messages while failing to ensure that they complied with speed and safety laws.
DoorDash said the suit should have been filed in Wisconsin, where the accident happened.
In a one-paragraph ruling, the judge rejected the company’s request, pointing out that the family’s suit was based on the DoorDash business model, making it convenient to conduct exchanges of information in the company’s hometown.
The case is Taylor v. DoorDash Inc., CGC22600500, California Superior Court (San Francisco).
(Updates with DoorDash comment in fourth paragraph.)
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