Uber has reportedly settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of a six-year-old girl who was struck and killed by an Uber X driver on New Year's Eve 2013. According to Reuters, the family has reached a tentative agreement with Uber, but details are not being disclosed at this time by request of the family.
Sophia Liu was killed in the accident in San Francisco's Tenderloin district; her mother and brother were also hit but survived the crash. At the time of the accident, the driver was logged into Uber's smartphone app and able to receive pickup requests — despite the fact that Uber initially said that the driver was not "providing services on the Uber system at the time of the accident."
Whether or not Uber was responsible was a major question following the accident, but it seems the company decided to settle rather than risk losing at trial. The question of whether its drivers are independent contractors or employees entitled to benefits continues to plague Uber; the state of California recently ruled that an Uber driver was in fact an employee, a ruling that puts the company's entire business model in the state under more scrutiny.
An Uber spokesperson gave us the following statement: "The Lius suffered a terrible tragedy — and our hearts go out to them. While we cannot ease their pain, we do hope that this settlement helps the family move forward."