Rich O’Toole Files Million Dollar Lawsuit Following Uber Accident
Texas country songwriter and singer Rich O’Toole, whose life and musical career were threatened by a car crash caused by an allegedly reckless Uber driver sued the company and the driver Tuesday in state district court in Houston, his lawyers at Doyle LLP Trial Lawyers said.
According to the lawsuit, Uber driver Abdallah Ahmed was hired on the evening of Feb. 25, 2017 to take Mr. O’Toole to dinner before a performance in Amarillo, Texas. Mr. Ahmed then got lost and stopped his vehicle in the middle of a highway and was rear-ended at high speed by another vehicle, the lawsuit alleges. The impact fractured Mr. O’Toole’s neck and caused other serious injuries.
Mr. O’Toole, a native Texan, Houstonian and proud Aggie, who has had 17 Top Ten hits on Texas radio and more than one million plays on Spotify, said, “Emergency neurological surgery, and the thoughts and prayers of my family, friends and fans, saved me from being permanently paralyzed. My recovery continues to be a long one – medically and musically.”
According to the lawsuit, the defendants’ negligence “pushed Mr. O’Toole off a concert, radio, and album promotion plan more than two years in the making.” The crash happened a week before he was to start a cross-country tour for the rollout of his sixth album, “American Kid,” a project developed in Nashville and Los Angeles studios. He also was preparing to headline the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo “World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest” show and was to open for the Josh Abbot Band and country music legend Willie Nelson.
Doyle LLP partner Michael Patrick Doyle, who represents Mr. O’Toole, said, “The trajectory of Mr. O’Toole’s career crashed like the car Mr. Ahmed was recklessly driving. The timing of this negligent crash was spectacularly bad for Rich’s career, but he is a survivor and will keep working hard to make heartfelt music for his fans and realizing his professional aspirations.”
The case is “Rich O’Toole v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al,” Case No. 2017-49162 in the 55th District Court of Harris County, Texas. The lawsuit alleges negligence and gross negligence. Mr. Doyle and Michael J. Maloney, of Maloney Law PLLC in Houston, represent Mr. O’Toole.
The lawsuit also alleges “while Rich O’Toole was building his career, Uber was creating a corporate behemoth by changing, and in some cases, breaking, the rules for commercial passenger transport. Aside from the widely reported issues of management dysfunction, unequal and demeaning treatment of women among its workforce, and avoidance of local consumer protections with ‘greyball’ tactics throughout the nation, Uber has consistently promoted the fiction that its drivers are ‘independent contractors’ from which it can reap enormous profits while avoiding any responsibility for their misconduct.”
Mr. Doyle added, “This lawsuit is intended to help Rich O’Toole continue recovering from his injuries but also force Uber to be accountable for the negligence of the drivers it controls in Texas and around the nation.”