Uber driver murderer sues company

  • 17/03/2016

The Uber driver in the US state of Michigan charged with murdering six people last month in a shooting spree has filed a US$10 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the ride-sharing company.

Jason Dalton, 45, who says it's Uber's fault he is in prison, filed the two-page, handwritten lawsuit against Uber in US District Court in Detroit on Tuesday (local time), saying the company ruined his life and never invited him to any "corporate parties".

"Uber doesn't care about its drivers. We are peasants and pawn pieces to Uber's bottom line," Dalton wrote, adding that the company discriminates against him because of his mental health. "I'm currently in prison because of Uber."

Mr Dalton wrote that he is seeking a jury trial and would represent himself in court.

Mr Dalton is charged with shooting eight people, killing six of them, over a five-hour period on February 20 in between driving customers for the Uber car service in Kalamazoo, which is about 240km west of Detroit. Police said last month that Mr Dalton had admitted to the shootings.

"It's hard to know how to respond to someone who refuses to take responsibility for his own actions," Uber said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the victims' families who have to live with the consequences of his terrible crimes."

Mr Dalton told investigators that the Uber ride-sharing app had the ability to "take over" his body, local media outlets reported on Monday.

Mr Dalton told police that when he would press a button on his phone screen, the horned cow head of a devil would appear and give him an assignment that he said would "literally take over" his body, local television station WZZM reported.

He faces 16 charges, including six of murder that can bring life in prison.