Texas Country Singer Rich O’Toole Sues Uber After Accident
Rising Texas country singer Rich O’Toole has filed a lawsuit against Uber in the wake of a serious accident that he says derailed his career.
According to a press release, O’Toole hired Uber driver Abdallah Ahmed on Feb. 25, 2017, to take the singer to dinner before a gig in Amarillo, Texas. The suit alleges Ahmed got lost and stopped his car in the middle of a highway, where the vehicle got rear-ended at high speed with O’Toole inside. The collision fractured the singer’s neck and caused other serious injuries.
O’Toole has had 17 Top 10 hits on Texas radio and received more than a million plays on Spotify. According to his filing on Tuesday (July 25) in state district court in Houston, the accident took place just one week before he was slated to start a tour for the rollout of his sixth album, American Kid. O’Toole was also set to headline the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest show, and had gigs lined up opening for the Josh Abbott Band and Willie Nelson.
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“Emergency neurological surgery, and the thoughts and prayers of my family, friends and fans, saved me from being permanently paralyzed,” O’Toole says. “My recovery continues to be a long one — medically and musically.”
He is suing Uber and Ahmed for negligence and gross negligence.
“The trajectory of Mr. O’Toole’s career crashed like the car Mr. Ahmed was recklessly driving,” says Michael Patrick Doyle, one of the attorneys handling O’Toole’s case. “The timing of this negligent crash was spectacularly bad for Rich’s career, but he is a survivor and will keep working hard to make heartfelt music for his fans and realizing his professional aspirations.”
The suit takes aim at Uber for the widely-reported allegations of avoidance of consumer protections. The complaint alleges the company has “consistently promoted the fiction that its drivers are ‘independent contractors’ from which it can reap enormous profits while avoiding any responsibility for their misconduct.”
“This lawsuit is intended to help Rich O’Toole continue recovering from his injuries but also force Uber to be accountable for the negligence of the drivers it controls in Texas and around the nation,” Doyle concludes.
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