Cincinnati man sues Lyft after alleged attack by driver

Lawsuit filed against Lyft

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A new lawsuit has been filed against Lyft and a driver after a Cincinnati musician says that he was brutally assaulted by the driver suffering a concussion and broken bones.

The 42-page lawsuit was filed by the Wolterman Law Office on Wednesday.

The alleged attack on May 24, 2017 was caught on camera.

The plaintiff, Jonathan Pratt, was in Brooklyn, NY at the time. Pratt says a Lyft driver charged him and then tackled him when he tried to cancel his ride after the driver went to the wrong address.

“We were ready to go so I said okay cancel the ride. I’ll just take a Yellow Cab. They were everywhere, so he protested saying ‘no, I’ll be there in five minutes just stay there’ and I said ‘no cancel’ and hung up,” said Pratt.

Pratt says the Lyft driver showed up anyway.

“He started shouting at us all kinds of stuff from across the street and then pulled a very aggressive U-turn through traffic up onto the side of the street that we were on. At that point I was starting to fear for my safety,” he said.

Pratt says that’s when he pulled out his phone to record the Lyft driver’s actions, which he says angered the driver even more.

The exchange moves off camera for about nine seconds and that’s when Pratt says he was body slammed and brutally attacked.

“I lost consciousness for a bit. He was kicking and stomping on me. Ripped the phone out of my hands and smashed it on the street,” he said.

The video shows the driver smashing the phone, then he moves towards the woman Pratt was with appearing to take a swing towards her.

All three exchange words before the driver takes off.

Lyft released a statement saying “Safety is fundamental to Lyft. The incident described is terrifying, and the driver was permanently banned from the Lyft community.”

“We want to raise awareness and hopefully get some systemic change at Lyft to prevent these things from happening,” said Matthew Metzger, an attorney with the Wolterman Law Office.

The lawsuit alleges that the Lyft driver, Kouame Nguessan, did not have a valid license with the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which is a requirement in New York.

Pratt says the injuries he suffered has left him unable to perform his music.

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