The estate of the man shot and killed by a ride-share driver on St. Patrick’s Day has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against that driver and Uber.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of James Porter’s estate, seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from Clayton Benedict, the driver, and from Uber. Benedict has not been charged in the incident.
Benedict did not want to comment for this story, and Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Benedicts’ (sic) actions were intentional, reckless and malicious such that an award of punitive damages against Benedict is justified,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Benedicts’ [sic] actions were intentional, reckless and malicious such that an award of punitive damages against Benedict is justified,” the lawsuit alleges.
The four-page complaint does not, however, provide many new details of what led up to the shooting.
It does state that Benedict “was employed by the Uber and acting in the course and scope of his employment as a ride-share driver.”
“On or about March 17, 2019, (Porter) and his friend were at a local Albuquerque establishment and decided to leave, however were not able to drive,” the suit states. “(Porter) called Uber for ride-services and was picked up by Benedict who was then instructed to drive them to their destination.”
The suit goes on to state that, while Benedict was traveling on Interstate 25, he “pulled the vehicle over and shot (Porter) which resulted in (Porter’s) death.”
Porter, 27, worked for Hewlett-Packard in Rio Rancho. Albuquerque police have said a fight broke out and the driver shot and killed Porter by the side of southbound I-25 near Montaño NE. Porter died at the scene. The driver and Porter’s friend were interviewed by police after the shooting.
An Albuquerque Police Department spokesman has previously said that, when the investigation into the case is complete, it will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office “for review and adjudication.”
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in state District Court in Santa Fe. Among the claims made in the suit is that Uber knew, or should have known, that by selecting, hiring and retaining Benedict, it would create an unreasonable risk of injury to individuals who used Uber services.