• Brevard County cyclist who nearly lost foot in crash sues Uber, 83-year-old driver

    By: Michael Lopardi , Monique Valdes

    Updated:

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County cyclist who nearly lost her foot in a crash is now suing the driver and the ride-sharing service Uber.

    The lawsuit claims the 83-year-old driver worked up to seven days a week and should not have been allowed to drive for the app.

    The case centers on a crash that happened in March 2016.

    While lawsuits after car accidents aren't unusual, one of the questions raised by the case is whether the driver was actually working for Uber at the time.

    Gayna Hansen, 46, said part of her foot had to be reattached after she was hit from behind while riding her bike on Barnes Boulevard. The crash made a dent in the hood of the car.

    “I didn't even realize that I got hit, but I woke up on the ground. There was a man standing over me,” she said. 

    Hansen said she can walk and ride but still has complications.

    “I'm lucky to have a foot, but past that, I have significant injuries for sure,” said Hansen. 

    Hansen is now suing the driver and Uber in federal court, claiming the company was negligent in allowing 83-year-old Gerald Reimer to drive with the app up to seven days a week, despite his age and prior traffic citations. 

    The plaintiff claims the driver was heading to a Starbucks to begin picking up riders, something the driver and company deny.

    “At what point might they have some kind of responsibility to make sure they're not placing people in peril on a regular basis?” said Shane Smith, the plaintiff’s attorney. 

    Uber is fighting back, arguing in court records that the driver wasn't logged into the app or conducting a ride at the time of the crash, and doesn't even remember if he had his phone on him. 

    WFTV legal analyst Bill Shaeffer said a jury may have to decide whether that clears uber in the case.

    “They certainly don't want to set a precedent and this case could set a precedent because of the argument that he was not directly on the Uber app at the time of the accident,” said Sheaffer. 

    Troopers cited the driver for the crash.

    In a statement, an Uber spokeswoman said, "This incident is no way connected to Uber or an Uber trip."

    The company said the driver was driving on his own personal time and that denying access to the app on the basis of age could be considered discriminatory.

    The case is scheduled to go to trial in April.

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