A now-former Uber driver who struck a San Francisco family with his car on December 31, 2013—killing a six-year-old girl named Sophia Liu in the process—was convicted of vehicular manslaughter on August 2.
In addition to the fatality, driver Syed Muzaffar also seriously injured Liu's mother, Huan Hua Kuang, and her five-year-old brother, Anthony, while driving a Honda Pilot SUV through a crosswalk at Polk and Ellis Streets. In January 2014, the family sued Muzaffar and Uber for wrongful death and other complaints.
As Ars reported previously, Muzaffar had only been an Uber driver for a month and did not have anyone in his car at the time of the accident. Uber has previously argued that because Muzaffar "was not providing services on the Uber system during the time of the accident," the company is not responsible. That lawsuit was ultimately settled in July 2015.
However, more than two months after the fatal accident, Uber and its rival Lyft changed their policies to expand insurance coverage to include drivers who are waiting for a fare. Previously, these policies only covered drivers when they had passengers in the car.
The Liu familys attorney, Christopher Dolan, claimed in a blog post that Uber drivers have been responsible for "hundreds if not thousands of deaths." As a result of the lawsuit, he added, the new insurance policies can hopefully mitigate the awful tragedy.
Still, Huan Hua Kuang added in the same blog post: "He did the crime. Im glad the jury held him responsible and that justice will be done. I miss my daughter every day and nothing will bring her back."
Muzaffar is set to be sentenced in San Francisco Superior Court at 9am on September 25, 2018.
Uber did not immediately respond to Ars request for comment.