Uber and Its Enemies: Jim Epstein in The Daily Beast

I have a piece up at The Daily Beast on how taxi
cartels are attempting to use a tragic accident to undermine Uber
and other ridesharing services. Here’s an excerpt:

On the evening of December 31, 2013, Huan Kuang and her two
young children were crossing the street in San Francisco’s
Tenderloin District when a Honda SUV made a careening right turn
and ran Uber App |||them over in the
intersection. Ms. Kuang suffered multiple injuries, including a
skull fracture, and two and a half months later she still has
trouble walking. The skin on one side of five-year-old Anthony
Liu’s face was scraped off, which will leave permanent scarring.
Six-year-old Sofia Liu sustained severe trauma from the impact and
died hours later in the hospital. Ms. Kuang and her husband, Ang
Liu, are recent Chinese immigrants and unemployed restaurant
workers with no means to pay their significant hospital bills.

Accidents of this sort are a terribly common occurrence. Cars
kill on average 12 pedestrians every day in the U.S., and in 2013,
Sofia Liu was one of 21
fatally struck by vehicles in San Francisco. She was also
the second person killed
by a car
 in one of the city’s crosswalks that very

The tragic death of Sofia Liu, and the maiming of her brother
and mother, has drawn national media attention because at the time
of the crash the driver of the vehicle, Syed Muzzafar, was working
for Uber, a company that’s made ordering a car service so
convenient that it’s upending the taxi business in cities around
the world. On January 27, the Kuang-Liu family sued Uber
in San Francisco Superior Court for damages related to the

Read the whole thing.

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