(Photo: Maggie Soladay)
A District of Columbia man who claims an Uber driver stabbed him is suing the company for $2 million.
The plaintiff, Erik Search, said he used the Uber phone application on Sept. 8, 2013 to order a car. Search alleged that the driver, Yohannes Deresse, was acting “erratically” so he and his friends got out of the car and walked away.
According to Search’s lawsuit, Deresse followed the group. Search said that after he told Deresse to leave them alone, Deresse pulled out a knife and stabbed Search at least six times. Search claimed he “sustained severe injuries, including but not excluding, multiple stab wounds to his chest and left upper extremity.”
Search filed his complaint in August in D.C. Superior Court. Uber moved the case to federal district court in Washington on Friday. An Uber representative and the company’s lawyer, Alison Davis of Littler Mendelson, were not immediately reached for comment Monday. Deresse, who is named as a defendant, also could not be reached.
D.C. Superior Court records show that Deresse was charged with assault but the judge dismissed the case the following month “for want of prosecution.” According to court documents, a nearby surveillance camera captured the altercation and showed Deresse stabbing Search as they fought. Police reported that Search sustained two puncture wounds to his chest and a severe cut on his bicep and another man was cut on his finger.
Deresse, according to court documents, was treated on the scene for a scratch in his ear and was taken to the hospital after complaining of severe head pain.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office was not immediately available to comment.
Search, represented by Paul Cornoni of Regan Zambri Long in Washington, is seeking $2 million. Cornoni could not immediately be reached for comment.