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- Lyft broke the law by not telling Chicago authorities it deactivated a driver last year, the city said.
- Shortly after, the same driver was working for Uber when he was accused of fatally kicking a man during a traffic argument.
- Lyft could be forced to pay up to $10,000 in penalties because of the error, but it said it was cooperating with law enforcement.
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Lyft could face penalties of up to $10,000 for failing to report an incident to Chicago authorities last year.
After deactivating driver Fungqi Lu in July 2018 after a fight with a local attorney, Lyft was required by law to alert the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. However, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday that never happened.
Meanwhile, Lu continued to drive for Uber despite being kicked off the Lyft platform. (Many drivers work for multiple companies.) It was four weeks after the first incident when he was accused of fatally kicking a 64-year-old taxi driver, Anis Tungekar, in a heated traffic argument caught on video.
Now, Lu is wanted on a murder charge, but authorities told the Sun-Times that he has since fled to China, with which the US has no extradition treaty, so there’s little chance he will be convicted.
A spokesperson for the City of Chicago confirmed to Business Insider that Lyft never notified the city of Lu’s deactivation, pointing to the following statement published by the Sun-Times:
“We are very disappointed with Lyft for failing to notify us about this deactivation, and we are holding them accountable for breaking the law and putting the public in danger.”
Earlier this year, the family of the late Tungekar filed a lawsuit against Uber, alleging that the company was negligent in its hiring of Lu and seeking $10 million in damages. Uber declined to comment on its policies for instances like this but passed along the following statement:
“This is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts are with Mr. Tungekar’s family and loved ones,” a spokesperson said. “As soon as we were made aware of this, we immediately removed this individual’s access from the platform. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement and provide any information that would be helpful for their investigation.”
A Lyft spokesperson told Business Insider that the company has cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation, saying: “This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the friends and family of Mr. Tungekar. We stand ready to engage with the BACP on next steps.”
A hearing is scheduled in August regarding Lyft’s citation and any penalties, which could range from $500 to $10,000.
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