Chicago

Family of Slain Cab Driver Sue Uber Driver, Rideshare Company

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, alleges Uber failed to drop a known violent driver on an expired license from their system

The family of a cab driver who was killed when an Uber driver allegedly kicked him in the head during a traffic altercation last year has filed suit against the rideshare company and the driver involved. 

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, alleges Uber failed to drop a known violent driver on an expired license from their system. 

According to the suit, Lu Fangqi, the Uber driver accused of fatally kicking 64-year-old taxi driver Anis Tungekar last September, was also involved in a violent incident with another person. 

"He had no driver's license, a violent history- he never should have been in the road," said attorney Michael Gallagher. 

Fangqi was charged with first-degree murder in December in connection with the September death of Tungekar during an incident near Washington and Jefferson in Chicago.

The moment Tungekar was fatally kicked in the head was caught on security video on Sept. 2, just seconds after an apparent traffic altercation. 

"I don’t know of any legitimate justification for roundhouse kicking someone for flipping a mirror," Gallagher said.

The Medical Examiner listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.

"I think he deserved better than to be kicked in the head and left to die by an Uber driver," said his son Omar Tungekar. 

An arrest warrant was issued for Fangqi after he was seen in the video. The driver was arrested that Labor Day weekend but then was released and ultimately fled to China.

Chicago police said "the case was presented to the State's Attorney's office for prosecution and it was deferred back to CPD for a follow-up." The Cook County state’s attorney’s office cited a continuing police investigation.

"This process should not have taken this long," Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in November. "We will begin the extradition procedures but that is very difficult given where he is."

The Uber driver's account with the rideshare company was suspended and the company is cooperating with police, an Uber spokeswoman said at the time.

"This is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts are with Mr. Tungekar's family and loved ones," the Uber spokeswoman said in a statement.

Uber did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit. 

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