Tempe faces $10 million claim in Uber self-driving vehicle fatality; Rose Law Group litigator Logan Elia comments

Tempe police released photographs from the pedestrian death involving an Uber self-driving car. A 49-year-old woman was hit and killed by a self-driving Volvo operated by Uber while crossing a street in Tempe.


By Ryan Randazzo and Paulina Pineda | Arizona Republic

The family of the woman killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle last year has filed a $10 million claim against Tempe, stating the city created a dangerous situation by paving a median where people were not supposed to cross the road.

Elaine Herzberg, a 49-year-old woman who was homeless, was the first person in the country to be hit and killed by a self-driving car. A Volvo sport-utility vehicle operated by Uber ran into her on March 18 as she crossed Mill Avenue outside of a crosswalk.

The claim against Tempe was filed by Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience on behalf of Herzberg’s daughter, Christine Wood, and Herzberg’s husband, Rolf Ziemann.

The law firm is asking for $5 million for each of the survivors.

Officials at the law firm did not respond to a request for comment.

Ziemann and Wood could not be reached.

The city does not comment on pending litigation, said Nikki Ripley, a city spokeswoman. Ripley confirmed that Tempe had not responded to the claim.


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February 2019