Amazon is Target of $100 Million Lawsuit for Causing Driver Distraction
February 23, 2022, • by Automotive Fleet Staff •
Amazon is the target of a $100 million lawsuit that argues the online giant put unreasonable demands on a delivery driver that led to negligence and caused a collision in October 2021, leaving a motorcyclist to suffer a leg amputation after the crash, reports Federal News Network.
The lawsuit faults Amazon for putting “unrealistic expectations” on its drivers that fuel negligence. Another way to frame it is to say that Amazon’s methods are pushing its delivery drivers to the point of driver distraction.
Specifically, in this case Justin Hartley was riding his motorcycle in Virginia Beach when a truck with an Amazon logo turned directly into his lane, striking him. The driver of the truck did not have his eyes on the road, according to the report.
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Rather, the delivery driver — Christopher Gill — was looking down at GPS directions on his Amazon-supplied navigation device, which he admitted to authorities. The lawsuit claims the driver was so distracted by the process of making his delivery that he did not see the motorcyclist.
Hartley suffered multiple fractures and ultimately, doctors were forced to amputate one leg.
Drivers for Amazon.com and Amazon Logistics are required to use the Amazon “Flex App,” according to the lawsuit. The app manages every aspect of a delivery driver’s route, including what directions to take, when to take breaks, and when to return to the station, notes the report.
But the pressure on the delivery drivers via the app goes even further, according to Federal News Network.
For example, when a driver falls behind the desired pace during a route, Amazon sends text messages stating the driver is “behind the rabbit” and needs to be “rescued” to ensure that they get back on schedule. If falling behind occurs too often, a driver’s pay can be reduced.
Amazon has denied all allegations connected with the lawsuit. The company has been down this road before. Amazon has been a defendant in at least 119 motor vehicle injury lawsuits across 35 states, notes the report.