The rights and responsibilities of the major ride-sharing services have been called into question frequently over the past few years. Lyft, which is one of the top ride share services in the country, is now a defendant in a civil lawsuit that is quickly gaining national attention.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Josie Saint Fleur, is the mother of Karenine Saint Louis, a 13-year old girl who died in a terrible car crash on July 9, 2017. The lawsuit alleges that the girl took a Lyft ride to the home of Jimmy Aguirre, a 17-year old, at 5:30am. When she arrived at his home, she got into his pickup truck and soon after died when the truck drove into two trees just outside of Lantana, FL.
The lawsuit has named several co-defendants including Aguirre, Aguirre’s mother, Lyft’s corporate entity, and the Lyft driver that is believed to have taken Saint Louis from her home to Aguirre’s home. According to state records, Aguirre only has a Class E learning permit and not a full drivers license. This means that Aguirre was required by law to have an adult over the age of 21 with him whenever he is driving a car.
Lyft and its driver are facing even further scrutiny for its role in the event. According to Lyft’s corporate practice, the company is not supposed to pick up any passengers that are under the age of 17. The lawsuit states that the driver of the Lyft should have requested the girl’s ID and refuse the ride if the girl could not provide a valid ID. There is even a 24-hour call line for Lyft drivers to use in these types of events.
At this point the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has yet to file any criminal charges, although it has acknowledged that the investigation is ongoing. The local reporters looking into the case and lawsuit have not been able to receive any comments from Aguirre, his family, Lyft, or the Lyft corporate office. Friends and family of Karenine have created a page online in hopes of raising enough money to pay for her funeral.