Sued for battery by Uber driver, passenger cites YouTube video in $5M counterclaim
Sued for assault and battery and emotional distress by the Uber driver he allegedly attacked from the passenger seat last year in Newport Beach, California, a now-former Taco Bell corporate manager has tried to turn the tables.
Passenger Benjamin Golden filed a $5 million counterclaim over a YouTube video of the incident that resulted in the loss of his job as a marketing manager for Taco Bell.
In his filing last month, Golden said the video was taken without his permission during the ride and invaded his privacy, reports the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.). The Times says that the video was posted to YouTube by the Uber driver, Edward Caban.
The Times article provides a link to a portion of the video from inside the car, in a news segment by CBS Philly.
Caban filed suit against Golden in Orange County in November, seeking damages for medical expenses and the loss of his job as an Uber driver. His lawyer said Caban is too nervous to continue behind the wheel following the attack by Golden.
The dashcam video shows Golden, who Caban accuses of being drunk, apparently having difficulty remaining upright in the back seat of the car. Caban tells Golden to get out of his car, contending that the passenger is too drunk to give directions.
The video then shows the passenger repeatedly striking the driver and yanking on his hair before both exit the vehicle. Caban then reportedly pepper-sprayed Golden.
Golden, who has apologized to Caban, faces an ongoing Orange County criminal misdemeanor case as a result of the October incident. He has pleaded not guilty.
Putting the video on YouTube was “so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community,” Golden’s counterclaim says. His attorney, Courtney Pilchman, declined to comment when contacted Monday by the Times.
Attorney Rivers Morrell III represents Caban.
“He’s now blaming everybody else and not taking responsibility for his conduct,” said Morrell, referring to Golden. “I don’t buy it, and I think it will make him look even worse than he already does.”