Woman Claims Uber Driver Broke Her Jaw
A California woman is suing ride-sharing company Uber over claims a driver broke her jaw during an early morning confrontation.
Krystal Ortiz and her attorney, Ernest Algorri, claim an unnamed driver left 29-year-old Ortiz with serious injuries following a New Years Day spat in Los Angeles.
In cell phone footage posted to YouTube, Ortiz can be heard asking the driver, who is in the footage, why he's asked her to get out of his car.
At one point, the driver appears to try to slap the phone away from Ortiz, who then threatens to sue.
"Why are you canceling the ride? she demands.
The footage cuts off after the driver exits the car and walks around to the passenger side, where Ortiz sits.
Ortiz told KTLA she'd been drinking at a New Year's Eve party in the Hollywood area when she decided to be safe and take the popular car service home.
Ortiz said the trouble stemmed from an argument with the driver that began over a conversation Ortiz was having with another passenger.
The driver allegedly pulled over to an area Ortiz was unfamiliar with. Her attorney said Ortiz was scared to get out of the car.
Ortiz claims the driver forcefully removed her from the vehicle and struck her in the jaw.
"I took the Uber because they hold themselves in a safe and responsible way for people to transport themselves, and I relied upon them to provide this," Ortiz said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"The Uber driver struck me in the face with his fist both inside the car and out on the sidewalk after he knocked me to the curb. He shattered my jaw and I spent days in the hospital getting reconstructive surgery," she said.
Algorri said they were pursuing civil and criminal action against both Uber and the driver and are seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.
The driver, meanwhile, has also filed a criminal battery complaint against Ortiz.
Uber, however, has cut all ties with the driver.
"This is a terrible situation and we take matters involving the safety of everyone who uses the Uber platform very seriously," the company told KNBC. "Upon hearing from the rider and speaking with her immediately following the incident, we placed the driver's account on hold and following a thorough review have since permanently deactivated him from the Uber platform."