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Amazon Sued Over Delivery Crashes

Amazon’s delivery service is again under fire for causing a car crash that injured three people and almost killed one of them in March 2021.  Ans R

Amazon’s delivery service is again under fire for causing a car crash that injured three people and almost killed one of them in March 2021. 

Ans Rana, 24, suffered near-fatal head and spinal injuries in the crash and is now paralyzed from the neck down, requiring his sister to take care of him full time. Rana has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for using dangerous delivery services.

Rana, his brother and his father were driving down Interstate 75 outside Atlanta when they were forced to stop behind a disabled vehicle. Moments later, an Amazon delivery truck rammed into the back of their car. Rana, who was sitting in the backseat, took most of the damage, and his brother and father were sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

The driver was an employee of Harper Logistics LLC, a delivery service partner with Amazon. Rana’s attorney says the driver was following Amazon’s delivery rules, which caused him to drive too fast and subsequently crash into Rana’s vehicle.

The delivery system consists of 24/7 surveillance and artificial intelligence that detects even the smallest gestures, including yawns. All drivers must sign an agreement to these observation tactics. If a driver falls behind schedule, Amazon employees contact them and pressure them to pick up the pace. 

In November, Rana and his family filed a lawsuit to prove that Amazon’s delivery methods directly caused his life-changing injuries, but the company has been down this road before.

Amazon’s History of Delivery-Related Lawsuits

Rana’s lawsuit against Amazon is not the first of 2021. A couple in Texas sued the company in February after being involved in a crash caused by a delivery driver. This case has been dropped.

In September, a Massachusetts man also sued Amazon after a delivery van collided with his vehicle head-on, causing severe brain injuries. The Amazon employee, pressured to make deliveries on time, fell asleep behind the wheel and veered into oncoming traffic. Amazon has not yet issued a formal response to this lawsuit.

Amazon says it can’t be held liable because it does not directly employ the drivers, but Rana’s legal team argues that its unrealistic driving standards make it responsible.

What Should Rana’s Legal Team Do?

The driver was on a company-assigned delivery when he struck Rana’s vehicle, which generally makes the company liable. Still, Amazon escapes through a loophole by not being the direct employer. So, what can Rana do?

His legal team must prove that Amazon had enough control of the driver’s actions to cause the crash, regardless of the driver’s employment status. That means they need to better understand Amazon’s delivery policies and how they influenced the events leading up to the crash.

Amazon wants to prevent its surveillance algorithms from getting out and has requested that the court withhold this data. Without sufficient information, plus the obscurity of employment laws from state to state, Rana’s attorneys will have difficulty proving Amazon’s liability.

Successful Lawsuit Would Set New Precedent

If the court finds Amazon liable for Rana’s injuries, the result will set a new precedent for the legal blueprint to use against it and other companies in similar situations. 

For now, the secrets to Amazon’s driver surveillance remain mostly in the dark, and the outcome of Rana’s lawsuit can go either way.