Kalamazoo shooting suspect suing Uber for $10M, citing civil rights violation
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Wednesday, Newschannel 3 learned that Kalamazoo shooting spree suspect Jason Dalton filed a $10 million lawsuit against Uber. Dalton claims the company caused him emotional distress. This bizarre new development has many wondering if the lawsuit will have any bearing on this case or Dalton's mental evaluation.
Kalamazoo attorney Randall Levine from Levine & Levine says, "Anyone can file a lawsuit, and prisoners often do file a lawsuit claiming, as Mr. Dalton did, violation of his civil rights."
Dalton says in his lawsuit Uber never paid him back wages or overtime. He wrote, "I busted my butt for them. They gave me no Christmas bonus, I wasn't invited to any corporate parties."
Levine looked over Dalton's lawsuit and says, "My opinion is that the lawsuit will be disposed of quickly by summary disposition because it appears to have no merit."
Dalton goes on to say Uber has a hostile work environment and does not care about its drivers. "My life is ruined because of Uber. My wife is divorcing me because of Uber," Dalton claims. He says Uber caused him emotional distress and psychological damage.
"It would suggest from his writings that he does have some issues with his mental health," Levine said. Levin adds, it's likely Dalton's attorney will use insanity as a defense at trial, but whether this lawsuit is being used to bolster that defense has yet to be seen.
It is interesting to note, in police reports released this week Dalton told investigators he started driving for Uber the Thursday before the shootings. In his lawsuit he says he's been working as an "Uber contractor" for years.
Tonight, Uber is responding to the lawsuit, saying in a statement:
"It's hard to know how to respond to someone who refuses to take responsibility for his own actions. Our hearts go out to the victims' families who have to live with the consequences of his terrible crimes."
We've also just learned that the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office is working to determine the authenticity of Dalton's letter, because the envelope is postmarked Philadelphia.
We'll continue to keep an eye on that investigation.