Uber Sued Over Woman’s Tragic Murder

Over a year after the tragic murder of an Uber driver, Christina “Christi” Spicuzza, her mother has initiated a lawsuit against the ride-hailing giant, alleging wrongful death and negligence. Spicuzza, a 38-year-old mother of four, was reportedly killed by Calvin Anthony Crew, 24, in February 2022. The incident occurred in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, after Crew’s girlfriend, Tanaya Mullen, requested an Uber ride for him using her Apple Pay account, according to Allegheny County Police Department.

The ride began on the evening of February 10, 2022, and Spicuzza’s body was discovered two days later. The lawsuit includes a probable cause affidavit that details text exchanges between Crew and Mullen on the night of the ride and the following day. The messages suggest that Crew intended to commit a crime, although the nature of the crime was not explicitly stated.

Spicuzza, unaware that her passenger was not Mullen, was caught off guard when Crew, wearing a mask, pulled a gun on her. Dash cam footage from Spicuzza’s vehicle captured the chilling exchange between the driver and her assailant, with Spicuzza pleading for her life and mentioning her four children. Crew was arrested several days after the incident.

The lawsuit, filed by Cindy Spicuzza on behalf of her daughter’s estate, alleges that Uber’s negligence contributed to Christina Spicuzza’s death. The suit argues that if Uber had applied its driver background check procedures to passengers, used its data analysis capabilities to screen out dangerous passengers, allowed drivers to cancel suspicious fares without penalty, or provided basic safety features in Spicuzza’s Uber-approved rental car, her life could have been saved.

The plaintiff alleges that Uber’s failure to screen Crew, verify his identity, provide information about his criminal history, or equip Spicuzza’s vehicle with basic safety features directly resulted in her death. The plaintiff is seeking a jury trial in the civil case.

As of now, Crew has not yet faced a criminal trial, although jury selection reportedly began in March for a death penalty case. Meanwhile, Uber has expressed its commitment to driver safety, stating that it has introduced features and policies designed with safety in mind.

The lawsuit maintains that Uber could better protect its drivers by applying the same screening standards to its passengers as it does to its drivers, and by verifying the identity of the person ordering the ride. The suit also suggests that Uber could use its data collection and analysis capabilities to predict and screen out potentially dangerous users.