FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) — After an ugly confrontation in Ferndale between an Uber driver and his passengers, multiple lawsuits will now try to sort out the mess.
It was around 2 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2016 when David Shaw picked up a group of six passengers from Rosie O’Grady’s in Ferndale.
The ride would come to an end near The Magic Bag as tempers flared and curse words were yelled. That’s about the only aspects of what happened that the parties involved can agree on, despite some of the altercation being recorded.
One of the passengers pulled out her cell phone and started recording as they were exiting the vehicle.
Shaw the Uber driver at the time. says the ride stopped because the passengers were belligerent. The passengers, on the other hand, say the ride stopped because they smelled marijuana.
Shaw was eventually arrested for assault and battery and then later acquitted by a jury. The marijuana charge was also dropped, now he is suing in federal court. He alleges that the passengers harassed him both verbally and physically, then lied to responding officers who in turn arrested him without reading him his Miranda rights. Shaw added that officers also did not get his side of the stor, and he believes race played a role.
“They just literally started attacking and terrorizing my client," said Shaw's attorney Pamela Sossi. "Verbally attacking my client. Calling him the n-word. It was kind of a mob mentality. My client attempted to tell the police officers repeatedly what had happened but they refused to even take a witness statement.”
Attorneys for the passengers, on the other hand, say it was actually Shaw who was the aggressor.
Bryan Cermak of Cronin Law Firm represents the defendant who filmed the encounter.
“How can my client who’s holding a video camera, videoing the assault be convicted of assault or intentional affliction of emotional distress," Cermak said. "When the camera goes down it’s the result of him slapping it out of her hand."
The case is currently in the discovery phase, with Sossi saying it could take anywhere from 6 to 9 months before the lawsuits proceeds.
Uber has since cut ties with Shaw, and Ferndale Police declined to comment on the pending litigation.
Read full court documents below:
Uber Driver Ferndale Lawsuit by on Scribd