Amazon Blamed for Crash that Paralyzed Man

A lawsuit argues that the company's driver-monitoring practices compromise public safety.

A man involved in a crash with an Amazon delivery van has filed a lawsuit against the e-commerce giant in Georgia state court.

The lawsuit, Bloomberg reports, contends that Amazon is liable, citing the company’s methods it uses to monitor its delivery drivers. 

Ans Rana, 24, was struck from behind by a blue Amazon delivery van in Atlanta back in March. The crash sent Rana to the hospital with brain and spinal cord injuries, and ultimately paralyzed him. 

Amazon claims it is not legally culpable because the driver did not directly work for Amazon. Instead, the driver worked for Harper Logistics LLC, one of many delivery service partners (DSPs) Amazon uses to make deliveries. However, drivers wear Amazon uniforms and drive vans featuring the company’s name and logo. 

The drivers are also required to use the Flex app, which monitors deliveries and worker performance, and Amazon utilizes cameras and other hardware installed in the delivery vans. In June, reports accused Amazon of using the app's algorithms to fire drivers; several drivers contested the firings and claimed unfair termination. Some said issues out of their control, such as flat tires and locked apartment complexes, could lead to their termination. 

Rana’s lawsuit argues that those practices made Amazon negligent and said the company “forced drivers to rush to the point it was unsafe” and “focused on speed and delivery efficiency without giving due consideration to the safety of the public.” The lawsuit also alleges that the van traveled 67.73 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone when it hit the car and sent it into another lane, where it was struck by another car. 

This isn’t the only legal matter involving Amazon delivery drivers. A law firm in the U.K. recently filed an employee rights claim, which states the drivers deserve rights such as eligibility for National Minimum Wage or employment contracts.

More in Video