His driver had swerved and slammed into a parked car, throwing Good against the passenger’s headrest and leaving him slumped in the backseat. Good instantly knew he couldn’t move, and believed he had broken his neck.
Good, 31, was left a quadriplegic in the accident. He wants his experience to be a cautionary tale and a catalyst for more oversight of the ride-hailing industry. On Tuesday, he filed a negligence lawsuit against Uber, saying it hired a risky driver with a spotty record and should have known he would put others in jeopardy.
Good’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court, demands a jury trial and seeks $63 million in damages, including severe physical, mental and emotional injuries, extraordinary pain and suffering, and permanent disability.
A spokesman for Uber declined to comment due to pending litigation.
Good’s lawyers hope the lawsuit will catch the attention of regulators and state lawmakers so they might crack down on transportation companies they say pose as tech companies and skate safety measures, oversight, and liability.
The lawsuit says the Uber driver in Good’s April 30 accident had such a dangerous driving history dating back to 1996, including moving violations, crashes, at least 20 citations, and state imposed driver retraining, that Uber never should have hired him as a professional driver and bears responsibility for putting him behind the wheel.
Every day, Good said, brings new realizations of the things he can’t do — scratch at a stray eyelash, open his wallet, light a cigarette, play guitar, spin one of his 400 records on his turntable, or chop vegetables at the job he loved.
“It’s a level of incapability that I’m at,” Good said in a recent interview at his South Boston condo, where he moved after the accident. “That was kind of the real heartbreak part, just coming to terms with these things I hadn’t thought of yet.”
Good spent two months in the ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by another two months in recovery at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown. Those months, in retrospect, were simpler, and easier to endure than the transition to home life, Good said.